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POLICE

Swiss police kill Sri Lankan asylum seeker brandishing knives

Swiss police said on Saturday that an officer had shot and killed a Sri Lankan man after the man lunged at other asylum seekers wielding two knives.

Swiss police kill Sri Lankan asylum seeker brandishing knives
File photo: Bas Leenders

The 38-year-old asylum seeker was mortally wounded at around 2:00am (0000 GMT) Saturday after he tried to stab two other asylum seekers who were in the company of police officers in the southern Italian-speaking region of Ticino, police said.

Officers had been called in to break up a fight in Brissago, on the shores of Lake Maggiore, and were on the ground floor of a building when the Sri Lankan attacked the other people, police said in a statement.

In a bid to protect those present, an officer had fired at the assailant.

Despite attempts to administer first-aid, the man died on the spot. No one else was injured, police said.

An investigation has been opened into the shooting, they added.

POLICE

Two mountaineers killed and 9 injured in ice fall in Swiss mountains

A Frenchwoman and a Spaniard were killed and nine other mountaineers were injured on Friday in an ice fall in southwest Switzerland, police said following a rescue attempt involving several helicopters.

Two mountaineers killed and 9 injured in ice fall in Swiss mountains

Police received calls at 6.20 am reporting that mountaineers had been caught up in falling seracs — columns of glacial ice formed by crevasses — on the Grand Combin, a glacial massif near the Italian border in the Wallis region.

Seven helicopters with mountain rescue experts flew to the scene, finding 17 mountaineers split among several groups.

“Two people died at the scene of the accident,” Wallis police said in a statement. They were a 40-year-old Frenchwoman and a 65-year-old man from Spain.

Nine mountaineers were airlifted to hospitals in nearby Sion and in Lausanne. Two of them are seriously injured, police said.

Other mountaineers were evacuated by helicopter.

The regional public prosecutor has opened an investigation “to determine the circumstances of this event”, the police said.

The serac fall happened at an altitude of 3,400 metres in the Plateau de Dejeuner section along the Voie du Gardien ascent route.

The Grand Combin massif has three summits above 4,000 metres, the highest of which is the Combin de Grafeneire at 4,314 metres.

The police issued a note of caution about setting off on such high-altitude expeditions.

“When the zero-degree-Celsius isotherm is around 4,000 metres above sea level, it is better to be extra careful or not attempt the route if in doubt,” Wallis police said.

“The golden rule is to find out beforehand from the mountain guides about the chosen route and its current feasibility.”

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