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2001: Swiss man kills 14

AUDIO : Gunman storms Zug parliament building

A gunman has run amok in a central Switzerland government building, killing at least 14 people before turning the gun on himself.

Ten people were also injured - eight of them critically - in the country's worst mass killing.

Friedrich Leibacher entered the regional parliament building in Zug at 1030 (0930 BST) dressed in a mock police uniform and carrying an assault rifle, hand-gun and grenades.

He is believed to have been embroiled in a long-running dispute with local officials.

Leibacher stormed the packed council chamber and shouted obscenities before firing indiscriminately with the assault rifle.

"The man strode through the whole floor shooting at people," said a journalist who had been reporting the parliament's proceedings.

Another witness told reporters, "I was just outside the door of the parliament when he came in with a rifle, with several pistols and with what I think was a hand grenade.

"He started firing all around for several minutes. It was really terrible," he said.

'Day of rage'

The 57-year-old gunman then detonated an explosive before shooting himself and police say he was dead when they arrived on the scene 10 minutes later.

Leibacher, whose dispute with a bus driver and transport officials had lasted two years, left behind a note describing his actions as a "Day of rage for the Zug mafia".

Switzerland's President Moritz Leunberger said his government would have to review the personal security of politicians.

"I'm just so shocked I can find no more words - our democracy and freedom has been called into question," he said.

In Context
The number of dead rose to 15 and the massacre shocked the nation.

Although there are about two million firearms in Swiss homes - many provided by the government - gun crime is rare and it had been a century since the last politician had been killed in Switzerland.

The weapons Leibacher was carrying are standard-issue weapons Swiss nationals have to keep in case of call-up.

The land-locked country has no standing army, but conscripts its entire male population - requiring them to do at least a few days of military training every year for most of their lives.

Leibacher's rampage forced the Swiss to reassess their gun laws and government security arrangements.


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