Fri Mar 10, 2017 3:14AM
Police collect evidence at the site of a shooting in Switzerland’s northwestern city of Basel on March 10, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Police collect evidence at the site of a shooting in Switzerland’s northwestern city of Basel on March 10, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Two men have lost their lives and another sustained serious gunshot wounds after two unidentified assailants stormed into a cafe in Switzerland’s northwestern city of Basel and opened fire.

"Two men came into Cafe 56" at around 8.15 p.m. local time (1915 GMT) on Thursday "and fired several rounds of shots," police said in a statement.

It added, "Two customers were killed. Another is in a critical condition."

Police said the attackers headed in the direction of the railway station after the assault.

“The reason behind the attack is not yet known and will be investigated,” the Basel prosecutor's office said in a statement.

“Cafe 56 doesn't have a bad reputation," an unnamed neighborhood resident told local German-language daily Basler Zeitung.

“It was previously an establishment known for its links to the drug world, but since the owner changed several years ago it became an ordinary cafe,” the paper quoted another resident as saying.

On January 3, a 33-year-old man dressed in military fatigues shot and injured two police officers during a house search in the northern commune of Rehetobel for a suspected cannabis plantation.

The gunman fled the area afterward but was eventually cornered at a location near his home. He eventually shot himself dead after a standoff lasting several hours did not produce any result.

The shooting came just days after an armed man shot three worshippers in an Islamic center in Zurich. A major manhunt was launched to find the attacker before his body was found.