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Handgun shooting Mosque shooting believed to be revenge killing

A police officer enters the mosque in St Gallen where a man was shot

(KEYSTONE/Ennio Leanza)

A man who was shot and killed in a mosque in canton St Gallen in north-eastern Switzerland is believed to be the victim of a revenge killing. 

On Tuesday, police alluded to a link between the crime and the victim's involvement in the 1997 death of the suspect's brother.  Earlier, the Islamic Central Council of Switzerland had said the shooting was an act of revenge for when the victim allegedly killed his alleged killer’s brother 18 years ago.

In a statement, the central council said the shooting took place in the mosque because the killer knew that the victim went there to pray every Friday. It added that the killing did not have any political or religious basis. 

Police spokesman Gian Andrea Rezzoli said no further details about the events in 1997 would be released.

Last Friday, police received a report that there had been a shooting at 2 pm, Rezzoli told Swiss public television, SRF, adding that a patrol arrived within one minute. 

“When the police entered [the mosque], the officers found a male body in the prayer room. One person with a handgun was arrested without resisting.” 

The El-Hidaje centre is part of the Albanian Islamic community and according to the mosque’s imam was founded in 1992 and has 350 members.

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