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Swiss extremists becoming more violent

Swiss extremists are becoming increasingly violent

(Keystone Archive)

Left- and right-wing extremist groups in Switzerland have shown an increased tendency towards violence over the past year, according to a new report by the Federal police office.

In 2000 the number of crimes and acts of violence committed by right-wing extremists more than trebled, to 134 from 41 the year before. During the same period the number of known skinheads increased from 800 to 900.

The police report said a considerable number of the attacks were racially motivated and had led to 45 convictions for racism. But the number of attacks on asylum centres in Switzerland had actually fallen from 11 in 1999 to four in 2000.

Groups on the extreme left had also become more aggressive over the period in question, the report found. It said their increasing violence was manifested in anti-globalisation protests, including at the World Economic Forum summit in Davos, and in direct confrontations with extreme right-wingers.

Although no terrorist attacks took place in Switzerland during 2000, the report found that extremist foreign groups - in particular radical Albanian organisations - had been active in spreading their propaganda in the country.

It said there was a danger that immigrant communities were being used to provide funds and weapons as well as new recruits to some of these groups.

Arab Islamic groups and the Sri Lankan Tamil Tiger separatist group had been busy raising funds in Switzerland.

swissinfo with agencies


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