Swiss, Europeans express solidarity with victims of Zurich mosque attack

Prosecutor Francoise Stadelmann and head of Zurich cantonal police Christiane Lentjes Meili (R) address a news conference after a gunman attacked an Islamic center in Zurich, Switzerland, on Dec. 20, 2016. (REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann)
Updated 21 December 2016

Swiss, Europeans express solidarity with victims of Zurich mosque attack

JEDDAH: Swiss nationals and European citizens took to social media on Tuesday to express their outrage at Monday’s attack on the Islamic Center Mosque in Zurich.
They said the crime was no less than the one at a Christmas market in Berlin. “Driver runs amok at a Christmas market in Berlin! Shootout at a mosque in Zurich! What is wrong with this world?” tweeted @Schwerimlot.
However, @newyam tweeted: “Everybody is now silent about the Zurich shooting because it doesn’t fit their narrative.”
Onder Gunes, spokesman for the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Switzerland, said: “All Muslims are of course shocked that people praying came under fire. This would be equally shocking if done by a Muslim, Christian, Hindu or any other religious group,” He added: “We all have to stand together for peace. This cannot be allowed to escalate.”
Police identified the gunman as a 24-year-old Swiss man with Ghanaian roots but did not provide his name, and said he seems to have taken his own life shortly after the shooting.
There were indications that he had taken an interest in the occult, Lentjes Meili said, adding that it was not clear at this stage whether he was mentally ill. He had a permit for the gun he used.
Police said the investigation was continuing into the incident, in which three people were injured after the gunman, dressed in dark clothes, stormed the mosque’s prayer hall and opened fire on worshippers, wounding three before fleeing.
Shortly after the shooting, police found his body close to Gessner bridge, next to the neighborhood of trendy cafes where the mosque is located.
Authorities were not considering the attack as terrorism, police spokesman Marco Bisa said. The three people injured — aged 30, 35 and 56 — were hospitalized, he said, without specifying their nationalities. The shooter is thought to have killed a man with South American roots in Zurich on Sunday.
“He’s Swiss, and we don’t know anything about the motives,” Christiane Lentjes Meili, head of criminal investigations for the Zurich cantonal police, told a news conference.
The man, whose last run-in with the law was as a bike thief seven years ago, had quit his job in a shop on Friday. — With input from AFP


Philippines reports 3 new coronavirus deaths, 244 more cases

Updated 11 min 22 sec ago

Philippines reports 3 new coronavirus deaths, 244 more cases

  • Total deaths have reached 987 while confirmed cases have risen to 20,626
MANILA: The Philippines’ health ministry on Friday confirmed three new coronavirus deaths and 244 more infections, the lowest single-day increase in cases in two weeks.
In a bulletin, the ministry said total deaths have reached 987 while confirmed cases have risen to 20,626. There are 4,330 patients who have recovered.