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Swiss suspect terror link in department store attack in Lugano

This content was published on November 24, 2020 - 19:52

ZURICH (Reuters) - A Swiss woman grabbed a woman by the neck and wounded another in the neck with a serrated knife in a department store in the southern Swiss city of Lugano on Tuesday in what federal prosecutors called a suspected terror attack.

Ticino cantonal police said the attack was over and the suspect, a 28-year-old who lives in the area, was in custody.

One victim sustained serious but not life-threatening injuries and another was lightly injured.

"A department store in Lugano was the scene of a suspected terrorist-motivated attack on several people," the federal Office of the Attorney General said in a statement.

"In this context, one person with Swiss citizenship was arrested and is now in custody ... The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland has opened criminal proceedings against this person," it added.

Neutral Switzerland has been spared the kind of large-scale jihadist attacks that prompted France and Germany this month to push for tighter European Union borders after suspected Islamist militants killed eight people in Paris, Nice and Vienna within a month.

But it has identified hundreds of residents deemed a threat and militants who have travelled to war zones.

Two men arrested in the town of Winterthur near Zurich this month over possible links to a jihadist shooting attack in Vienna that killed four people on Nov. 2 visited the attacker in July.

In September, a man Swiss media dubbed the "Emir of Winterthur" and described as a leading Islamist militant in Switzerland was sentenced to 50 months in prison for ties to Islamic State.

Federal prosecutors have said that a fatal stabbing of a Portuguese man in September in the town of Morges, in western Switzerland, was still being investigated for a possible "terrorist motive". A Swiss-Turkish national has been arrested.

(Reporting by Michael Shields and Silke Koltrowitz; Editing by Edmund Blair, Nick Macfie and Tom Brown)

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