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CRIME

Axe attack prolongs village feud

A protracted feud in a village in the far north of Sweden took a sinister turn on Tuesday when a 47-year-old man was attacked with an axe and taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

A 37-year-old man was arrested in connection with the incident in Vojakkala, a village near Haparanda on the border between Sweden and Finland.

The victim of the attack was found by a neighbour, who alerted the police. He was initially taken to Sunderby hospital but was later transferred by helicopter to Norrland University Hospital in Umeå where his situation remained critical on Wednesday morning.

For twenty years a feud has divided the neighbouring families of the victim and his attacker.

Two years ago police arrested eight members of one of the families after reports of shots being fired in the village. Two of the men were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

ALMEDALEN 2022

Attacker ‘severely disturbed’ during stabbing at Swedish political festival

Theodor Engström, the 33-year-old man who stabbed psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren to death at the Almedalen political festival in July, was seriously psychiatrically disturbed at the time of his attack, forensic psychiatrists have ruled.

Attacker 'severely disturbed' during stabbing at Swedish political festival

According to the Hela Gotland newspaper the Swedish National Board of Forensic Medicine has ruled that the man was so disturbed at the time of his attack he had lost the ability to understand the consequences of his actions, and has as a result recommended that he be given psychiatric treatment rather than a prison term.

The agency said that Engström had still been disturbed at the time he was given psychiatric assessment, and warned that there was a risk that Engström would commit further criminal acts. 

“This is a question which has relevance at a future stage,” said prosecutor Henrik Olin. “It means he cannot be sentenced to jail, but will instead receive psychiatric care. But it is not going to change how the investigation is carried out.” 

READ ALSO: What do we know about the Almedalen knife attack?

Engström stabbed Wieselgren, who worked as psychiatric coordinator for the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, as she was on the way to take part on a discussion at the Almedalen political festival. She died in hospital later that day. 

Engström has admitted to carrying out the attack, telling police that he intended to make a protest against the state of psychiatric healthcare in Sweden. 

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