Probe of attack in Iraq on Swedish politician

The stabbing in Iraq of a local Swedish politician has prompted an investigation into whether or not the attack was paid for by the woman’s relatives back in Sweden.

The woman, an Iraqi-born Swedish citizen who has lived in Sweden for 25 years, was attacked from behind while visiting her brother in Kirkuk in northern Iraq, the Göteborgs-Posten (GP)newspaper reports.

The assailant come up from behind and stabbed the woman several times, puncturing a lung and sending her to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Iraqi police arrested the man two days later, but the woman has long suspected that disgruntled relatives back in Sweden were behind the attack.

The trouble started when the woman, who friends describe as a strong and self-assured advocate for women’s rights, refused to bow to the wishes of influential member of her extended family, many of whom live in western Sweden.

“I upset him. In December 2007 I was threatened and I reported him to police,” she told the newspaper.

According to the woman, the man’s anger escalated when he learned of the police report, leading to the nearly-fatal knife attack in Iraq.

Now Swedish prosecutors have launched an investigation into whether or not charges of conspiracy to commit murder can be filed back in Sweden in connection with the incident, according to chief prosecutor Thomas Ahlstrand at the International Public Prosecution Office in Gothenburg.

The trial of the man arrested for the stabbing in Iraq starts soon, and the woman has been called to testify. She fears, however, that heading back to Iraq puts her in danger of further attacks.

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