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Recruits Army probes Nazi salute photo

The soldiers in the photo have been identified


The Swiss army is investigating a photo that has emerged of soldiers making the Nazi salute in front of a swastika symbol.

The photo was first published by the SonntagsBlick newspaper. It showed six people wearing army uniforms, next to a swastika symbol made out of footprints in the snow. It was believed to have been taken around a week ago.

Spokesman Christoph Brunner said the army was informed of the incident on Saturday. It is being investigated by military police.

The soldiers in the photo have been identified as recruits at a rescue training location in Wangen an der Aare in canton Bern. A spokesman for the military tribunal confirmed a report in the Blick newspaper on Monday.

The army would not comment on what steps it would be taking, stating that further investigations were needed. In particular it is examining if there has been a violation of the anti-racism law.   

In a case in 2005, two corporals and two recruits at a Swiss army training camp were suspended for using Nazi salutes and racist as well as far-right expressions.

Brunner stressed that the army did not tolerate any form of extremism. A specialised military service focusing on rooting out extremism in the army was created in 2002.

A reported 34 cases of extremism in the army were flagged up in 2015, 60% for right-wing extremism, and the remainder to do with jihad and left-wing extremism.

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