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School closure incites beating of politician

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School closure incites beating of politician
Nordmalings train station inaugurated in 2010. File photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT
12:54 CET+01:00
An assailant citing the recent closures of rural schools has violently assaulted a local politician in her home in northern Sweden.

The politician was a member of the education committee in Nordmalings municipality, which has some 7,000 inhabitants. Sveriges Television (SVT) reported on Thursday that her attacker spoke about the closure of small rural schools during the attack in the politician's home around 11pm on Wednesday evening.

The victim was taken to hospital for treatment, according to her colleague and municipal head Ulla-Maj Andersson. 

"This is a terrible blow to democracy," she told the TT news agency. "We can't allow anarchy to rule."

"We think this has to do with school closures as the man who assaulted the politician mentioned it," Andersson confirmed. 

While a report has been filed with the police, the assailant's identity was not known. A preliminary investigation into the attack has been launched.

"We have forensic technicians at the scene and we are conducting interviews," police spokesman Joakim Lundberg said. 

Threats of violence directed at politicians is not unheard of. A survey by the National Crime Prevention Agency (Brottsförebyggande rådet - Brå) found that one in six politicians has suffered harassment, threats and/or violence.

The higher up in the pecking order the politician was, the more vulnerable to threats of violence they were, the Brå survey found. Some 79 percent of politicians who reported being harassed said it had happened more than once. 

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