Three people have been killed and two wounded when a gunman opened fire in the Swiss village of Daillon, Swiss police have said.

The man, who had reportedly been drinking heavily before the shooting and was armed with an assault rifle, launched the attack in the village late on Wednesday.

The suspect threatened police when they tried to arrest him, and officers shot and wounded him before taking him into
custody, police of the Swiss canton of Valais said in a statement on Thursday.

No police officers were wounded.

"Three victims died at the scene. Two other people were wounded and hospitalised," said police in the canton of Valais, which borders Italy and France.

They did not identify the attacker and his motives were not immediately clear.

Swiss website reported that the gunman was a resident of the village aged about 30. It quoted a villager as saying one of the dead was a woman in her 80s.

Special police units and local police forces were alerted by a caller who said several people were lying wounded on the ground at about 1950 GMT, the police statement said.

It said the incident was being investigated and the site had been closed off. More information would be released later on
Thursday at a news conference in the village, which is close to the town of Sion, the capital of the canton - or region - of Valais.

Mass shootings are rare in Switzerland, although gun possession is widespread - some estimates run to at least one
for every three of its 8 million inhabitants. Many are stored in people's attics, a legacy of Switzerland's policy of arming its men to defend its neutrality.

Source: Agencies