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CRIME

Youths admit beating pensioner to death

Residents in a small village in the canton of Zurich are reeling as more details emerge over the savage beating to death of an 85-year-old man.

The pensioner was attacked in his apartment at Affoltern am Albis early last month by a gang of three young men and a 15-year-old boy.

The victim, reportedly from Sri Lanka, died ten days later from his injuries.

Police said the man was initially taken to hospital suffering from broken ribs, a femur fracture and skull-brain trauma.

The suspects, the eldest of whom was 20, have admitted to attacking the man, the local prosecutor reported on Monday.

However, the prosecutor said contradictions remain over what exactly happened.

Several days after the elderly man died, the four suspects were arrested following an investigation by cantonal police in Zurich.

Police have not yet established a motive for the attack.

News of the crime has rocked Affoltern am Albis, a normally placid village with a population of 1,100.

The last time the community hit the news headlines was over a report about a craftsman working there who is reputed to be the last pipe-maker in Switzerland.

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CRIME

Swiss woman indicted over ‘jihadist knife attack’ in department store

Swiss prosecutors said Wednesday they had indicted a woman for attempted murder on behalf of the Islamic State (IS) group over a brutal knife attack in November 2020.

Swiss woman indicted over 'jihadist knife attack' in department store

The 29-year-old unnamed woman allegedly attacked two women in a department store in the southern city of Lugano.

She has been charged with attempted murder and violating laws against association with Al-Qaeda, IS and related groups, according to the indictment.

She was also charged with unlawful prostitution.

EXPLAINED: Does Switzerland face a threat from terrorism?

The attorney general’s office said the indictment related to a “jihadist knife attack” and the alleged assailant, a Swiss citizen, “intended to kill her victims and to commit a terrorist act on behalf of IS.”

“The suspect acted wilfully and with particular ruthlessness. She brutally attacked her randomly-selected victims with a knife, with the aim of killing them and thereby spreading terror throughout the population on behalf of the ‘Islamic State’,” it said.

One of the two victims sustained serious neck injuries while the second victim, with help from others at the scene, managed to overpower her attacker and hold her until police arrived.

The attacker was arrested and detained. Police quickly discovered she had been linked to a 2017 jihadism investigation.

The woman had formed a relationship on social media with a jihadist fighter in Syria and attempted to travel to the war-torn country to meet him, police alleged at the time.

She was stopped by Turkish authorities at the Syrian border and sent back to Switzerland, they said, adding that the woman had suffered from mental health problems and been admitted to a psychiatric clinic.

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