Zurich mosque attack
Police stand outside an Islamic center in central Zurich, Switzerland, where a gunman opened fire on 19 December 19, injuring three people Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann

Zurich police has launched a manhunt for a gunman who opened fire at a mosque near the city's main train station on Monday (19 December). Three people were reportedly injured in the attack.

In a Twitter post, Zurich Police said it was looking for a man around 30 years old, wearing dark clothes and a dark woollen cap, who according to witnesses could be the suspected attacker. Police urged others to come forward with any information that could help in tracking down the perpetrator.

Later, law enforcement officials recovered a body a few hundred yards away from the crime scene, but the deceased is yet to be identified. A probe has been initiated to ascertain who the the victim is and whether he was related to the shootout, police added.

The incident took place at around 5.30pm local time (4.30pm GMT) inside the city's Islamic Centre, near the central station, where nearly a dozen worshippers, mostly migrants from North Africa, Somalia and Eritrea, had gathered for evening prayers.

Zurich police said in a statement that the gunman "fired several shots at the worshippers". "Three men, aged 30, 35 and 56, were injured, some seriously. The suspect then escaped from the mosque in the direction of Central Station," the statement read.

Following the shootout police cordoned off the area and used sniffer dogs to track the unknown attacker.

The Swiss edition of The Local reported that several mosques in the country, including one near Zurich and the main one in Geneva, have recently been accused in the media of allowing or encouraging radicalisation of worshippers, especially young members of their congregation. However, it is not clear if the attack was targeted at the mosque.

Switzerland reportedly has a population of around eight million, of which 450,000 are Muslim, the paper added.