On Monday, three people were gravely injured when a man started firing a gun in a Muslim prayer hall in Zurich, Switzerland. The building was often used as a Mosque, most of the time by Somalis which were coming to pray there. According to the press, the suspect ran from the site and authorities re searching for him near a train station in the city.
Unclear what the motive was
According to the authorities, it is still unknown whether the shooter targeted the prayer hall or any other buildings nearby, which are mainly business destined ones. Also, his motive is still unclear. A photographer even found a body near the scene of the shooting, but the police are unsure whether or not it has any connection to the it. He found it on a river bank, underneath a bridge, covered in a white sheet.
The Zurich police released an official statement which said that an unknown man entered the Muslim prayer hall and started shooting randomly. According to the same statement, three men were seriously injured. They are aged 30, 35 and 56. The suspect quickly left the scene and went towards the Central Station, which is near the Mosque. The authorities are reportedly searching for the man who was wearing dark clothes and a cap and was around 30-years-old. At least this is what the witnesses described.
The site is sealed
The police forces sealed the site of the shooting. They were searching the streets of the city using lamps and sniffer dogs. They are hoping to find the attacker soon. The three victims along with the other people who were inside the Muslim prayer hall at the time of the shooting were found outside. The health condition of the three injured men is still unknown as they were taken to the hospital. Around 12 people were reportedly inside the building at the time of the shooting. The majority of them were from North Africa, Somalia and Eritrea.
According to the website Moneyhouse, the construction is used by an association which allows Muslim people to practice their religion and pray there. They are taught the Islamic ways and are encouraged to preserve and pass on the beliefs and values of the religion. Also, seminars are often being held in the building.
A growing per cent of Muslim population
In Switzerland, a mainly Christian country, a 5 per cent of its population identifies as Muslim. This means around 450 000 people. Their number used to be much lower but grew as a result of the immigration from former Yugoslavia. In 2009, minarets were banned by a national vote.
The Swiss media has recently accused many Mosques in the country, including this one in Zurich and another, bigger one in Geneva, of encouraging the radicalization of their followers. Young members are reportedly allowed to practice their radical methods.
The police made the announcement that they would do everything they can to catch the shooter. Also, to find the reason behind his terrible action. It is fortunate that he did not manage to kill anyone, but things could have been much worse.
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