A man burst into a Muslim prayer hall in the Swiss city of Zurich and started shooting, wounding at least three men.

A body found a few hundred metres from the scene was that of the shooter who attacked an Islamic centre, police confirmed on Tuesday.

At around 5:30pm on Monday (16:30 GMT), the unidentified attacker entered the Islamic centre where several worshippers were gathered and began firing, Zurich police said in a statement.

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

Witnesses described the gunman as a man aged about 30 wearing dark clothes and a dark woollen cap, witnesses said.

Search operation 

Police have urged witnesses who were in the area around the time of the shooting to come forward. The motive for the shooting was still unclear.

About a dozen people were inside the prayer hall at the time of the attack, the ATS news agency reported, citing a number of people on site, adding a prayer service had been scheduled for 4:45pm (15:45 GMT).

The worshippers were mainly from North Africa, Somalia and Eritrea, ATS reported.

The body was discovered on the river bank, underneath the bridge, and had been draped with a white sheet.

Zurich police said Tuesday on Twitter that "we are working on the assumption that the dead person who was found is the culprit in the shooting at the Islamic Center in Zurich".

A number of Swiss mosques, including one near Zurich and the main one in Geneva, have, in recent months, been accused in the media of allowing or encouraging the "radicalisation" of their worshippers, especially the younger members of their congregations.

Switzerland, a country of some eight million people, reportedly has some 450,000 Muslims.

Source: Reuters news agency