3 Jan 2013

Swiss man guns down five, kills three

10:24 pm on 3 January 2013

A gunman has opened fire in a village in southern Switzerland, killing three people and injuring two others.

The man was shot and wounded by armed police and has been arrested, the BBC reports.

The attack happened on Wednesday in the village of Daillon in Valais canton, 100km east of Geneva and about 36km directly across the border from France's Les Trois Vallees ski resorts.

The gunman had reportedly been drinking heavily before the shooting.

Police dispatched to the scene arrested a suspect who was shot and wounded after he threatened them.

"Three victims died at the scene," said Valais police. "Two other people were wounded and hospitalised."

They had rushed to the village after calls reporting that several people were reportedly lying in the street after a spate of gunfire .

Police did not name the arrested man, whom witnesses identified to local media as a 30-year-old Daillon resident.

The gunman was armed with an assault rifle and was thought to have been drinking heavily, Swiss website 20minutes reported.

His motives were not immediately clear.

Police have cordoned off the village and an investigation is under way.

Gun attacks are rare in Switzerland, but shooting is a very popular sport in the country and the level of gun ownership is high.

There are an estimated two to three million guns in circulation, although no-one knows the exact number because there is no national firearms register.

In addition to the semi-automatic assault rifle that all those serving in the army store at home, there are thousands of hunting rifles and pistols.