Woman killed as politicians gather on Swedish island of Gotland

A woman in her 60s has been killed in a daylight stabbing on the Swedish island of Gotland, where the country’s top politicians are gathered for an annual event.

Just before 2pm (1200 GMT) in central Visby, which is currently hosting a gathering of the country’s political parties, a man attacked a woman with a sharp weapon, according to police.

Newspaper Expressen reported that the suspect was believed to have links to the neo-Nazi group NMR, but police would not confirm this.

The victim was given emergency care at the scene before being taken to a nearby hospital.

“Unfortunately I can report that the woman has succumbed to her wounds,” Fredrik Persson, chief of Gotland police, told a press conference.

Persson said a 33-year-old man had been arrested in close proximity to and shortly after the attack, and was currently suspected of murder.

“Currently there is an intense investigation under way. Part of that is to establish a motive and background of the arrested,” the police chief said.

He added that there was a series of questions they were looking into “since it happened in a very public place, where there was a lot of people in central Visby in the middle of the day”.

Police did not want to comment on a motive, though Persson conceded that a political motive could not be ruled out at such an early stage of the investigation.

However, police also said they did not believe the incident was linked to the Almedalen Week, an annual event gathering most of Sweden’s elite when political parties often present new policy and launch campaigns.

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