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Schaffhausen incident Suspect in Swiss chainsaw attack arrested

The police cordoned off parts of the old town of Schaffhausen during their search for the suspect

(Keystone)

The man believed to have injured several people in a chainsaw attack in the Swiss town of Schaffhausen, was arrested by police on Tuesday evening near Zurich. 

The suspect was arrested in the town of Thalwil, about 60 km (38 miles) south of the scene of the attack following a major manhunt, officials said. 

He did not show any signs of resistance and carried a plastic bag with two small crossbows and wooden arrows, a public prosecutor in Schaffhausen said.

Authorities announced earlier on Tuesday that four of the five people affected by the attack had left hospital and the fifth had non-life threatening injuries. Two of the victims had received no physical injuries but had been treated for shock.

The attack – which the authorities stated was not terror-related – was reported to the police on Monday morning. The suspect entered the local branch of the CSS insurance company where he deliberately attacked staff members, according to a company spokeswoman. She said two staff members were among the injured. 

According to the police, the attacker is believed to be 51-year-old Franz Wrousis. He has no known fixed abode but is known to have stayed in wooded areas. 

Manhunt

During the course of the police investigation, an image of Wrousis taken just before his act of violence was unearthed.

suspect
(Schaffhauser Polizei)

Schaffhausen, with a population of 36,000, is the capital of the Swiss canton of the same name. On Switzerland’s northern border, it is surrounded by Germany on three sides. The medieval town is known for its historic centre and proximity to the Rhine Falls, Europe’s largest.

schaffhausen map

Map of Schaffhausen

Frequent conflict – but rare violence – in insurance field

A spokeswoman from Santésuisse, Switzerland's largest organisation representing private health insurers, told Swiss News Agency that insurance staff, like social service workers, are often the targets of insults, threats and aggressive behaviour. Many are trained to know how to handle aggressive clients, and security cameras and emergency exits are common fixtures in insurance company offices. 

However, cases of violence are very rare, according to a spokeswoman for Swiss insurance company Swica, who added that most conflicts are related to money or premium issues. However, no motive for the Schaffhausen incident has yet been established.

The St Galler Tagblatt newspaper reported that CSS had temporarily closed six of its branches in eastern Switzerland. 


swissinfo.ch and agencies/vdv and ac

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