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Swiss shooting rampage kills 14

ZUG, Switzerland (CNN) -- A gunman disguised as a policeman has shot dead 14 people, including three politicians, after storming a local Swiss parliament building.

The man, who has not been named, is thought to have later shot himself, leaving a suicide note.

Ten people were injured, eight of them critically, after being caught up in the shooting spree in the small affluent lakeside town of Zug, near Zurich, at 0830 (GMT) on Thursday.

The incident is not believed to be connected to the September 11 aircraft hijack attacks on New York and Washington, police said.

Swiss Parliament Speaker Peter Hess: 'He appeared clothed as a policeman and started shooting'
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Spokesman Olivier Burger told CNN the incident is thought to be related to a local dispute.

Swiss Radio International reported that while the man was shooting, he apparently demanded that an appeal he had recently filed be reviewed by the parliament.

The gunman had entered the building armed with a rifle, pistol and "detonation package." Eighty members of the local state parliament were attending the regular monthly meeting at the time.

A police statement added: "The gunman was a Swiss national, resident in the area of Zurich. He was entering the parliament room armed with a gun and a pistol.

"After throwing a detonation package, he killed 14 persons present in the parliament room."

A local radio station, Sunshine, which had been present during the attack, said the man began shooting wildly around him. It added, the explosion tore off doors from their hinges where the meeting was being held, The Associated Press reported.

"The man strode through the whole floor, shooting at people," Swiss Telegraphic Agency reporter Dominik Hertach told television.

Hertach said people had thrown themselves to the floor amid loud screams from the injured.

Peter Hess, president of the Swiss national parliament in Bern, interrupted a regular session of the national parliament to announce the death toll. A minute's silence was held.

Security at Switzerland's national parliament was immediately stepped up following the incident.

Reports have said the gun used by the man was an army rifle, which are issued to all national military conscripts, but can also be bought over the counter across Switzerland.

Conscript rifles, and ammunition, are kept at the soldiers' homes. But despite the existence of tens of thousands of these guns they are very rarely used to commit crimes.

Zug is one of Switzerland's 26 cantons and enjoys a high degree of regional authority, with control over police, cantonal and local legislation, education, and local taxes.

It is one of the smaller cantons, but attracts a large number of international companies who want to set up shop in an area which has attractive tax levels.


• Swiss region of Zug

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