Three dead in Switzerland's second gun rampage of 2013
Swiss have the third highest gun ownership rate in the world after Yemen and US
THREE people have been killed and seven injured, some seriously, in a shooting at a wood processing plant in Switzerland. It is the country's second fatal gun rampage this year.
The latest incident took place in the canteen of the factory in the town of Menznau, west of Lucerne, at around 9am local time. It is not known what prompted the attack or if the culprit worked at the facility, but the shooter is thought to be among the dead.
A relative of one of the workers told local media: "The workers were eating a snack in the cafeteria during the morning, and there was a massacre."
It is the second fatal shooting of 2013 in Switzerland. Early last month a psychiatric patient went on the rampage in the village of Daillon, killing three women and wounding two men. There was speculation that the attack, carried out by a former soldier, might be linked to the murder of the al-Hilli family in the French Alps last summer.
Although Switzerland is not known as a violent country, its 8 million inhabitants are believed to own around 2.3m firearms, a figure that places it third on the worldwide list of gun ownership behind Yemen and the US.
"Gun ownership is widespread in Switzerland, thanks to liberal regulation, the failure of a 2012 referendum to tighten controls and a long-standing tradition for men to keep their military rifles after completing compulsory military service," reports The Guardian.
The BBC adds: "To many traditionalists, a gun in the home has become a metaphor for an independent, well-fortified Switzerland which has helped to keep the country out of two world wars.”