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Victim says axe attack 'politically motivated'

Victim says axe attack 'politically motivated'

Published: 10 Dec 2009 15:03 GMT+01:00
Updated: 10 Dec 2009 15:03 GMT+01:00

A politically active business-owner from Södertälje south of Stockholm is recovering from an axe attack he claims was carried out on the orders of a political rival.

“They were hired to kill me,” Moderate Party member Kenth Tegel told the Expressen newspaper.

Tegel was awakened late on Monday night when a car approached his home in the Järna district of Södertälje.

When the 55-year-old part-time politician went out to investigate, he was met by three masked and armed men who chased him back into the house.

Tegel then took refuge in a bedroom and did his best to fend off the attackers.

“They started chopping down the door until one of them got an arm in and pointed a gun at me. Then I hit him with a big flashlight until he dropped the gun,” said Tegel.

But the three intruders eventually broke through the door, taking an axe to Tegel’s head.

Somehow, however, Tegel was able to fight back and grab hold of the axe and pull it out of the attacker’s hands.

“I don’t know where I got the strength from…I was fighting for my life,” said Tegel.

Suddenly a fourth man came into the house and alerted the others that police were on the way, at which point all four men fled the scene.

What they didn’t know was that Tegel’s 17-year-old daughter had called police from her mobile phone while hiding in another room of the house.

Tegel received 20 stitches following the ordeal and was moved to a safe house by police before returning to his home on Thursday accompanied by a contract body guard, the local Länstidningen Södertälje (LT) newspaper reports.

Early on Tuesday morning police arrested another local politician suspected of hiring the men to carry out the attack.

She was later released, but suspicions against her remain.

“It all stems from some political intrigue. I don’t have any personal or business relationships with those involved,” Tegel told Expressen.

Tegel has led efforts to organize a local referendum which would allow residents to vote on whether the southern areas of Södertälje should break off and form a separate municipality, the LT newspaper reports.

Tegel told LT he is certain the assailants were hired by a female politician who had a previous disagreement with one of Tegel’s friends.

Back home after his ordeal, Tegel was busy dealing with a cleaning firm brought in to bring his house back in order.

"There's blood everywhere in the bedroom. It looks horrible," he told LT.

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

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