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Ylva Anna Maria Lindh, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden, died today from the wounds sustained when she was stabbed yesterday in a department store by a (currently) unknown assailant.

Lindh was born in June 19th 1957 in the Swedish town of Enskede. Her first foray into politics was from 1977 to 1979 when she was a member of the Municipal Council in Enköping for the Swedish Social Democratic Party. In 1982, she achieved a Bachelor of Laws degree at Uppsala university and was first voted into the Riksdag (Swedens parliament) as its youngest member. In 1991, she became a member of her party's executive committee, and in 1994 she first joined the nation's government as minister for environment. Four years later, in 1998, she was again voted into the Riksdag and became minister for foreign affairs.

Lindh never hesitated to voice strong opinions in support of human rights, criticizing the suppression of the Falun Gong movement in China as well as Israels treatment of Palestinians and Russia's war in Chechnya. She also worked towards a strengthening of the European Union, having recently started an (unpopular) campaign for Sweden to join the monetary union, the Euro zone, which may have been what motivated her murderer.

Anna Lindh leaves behind a husband and two sons, as well as a country shocked and painfully reminded of the assasination of prime minister Olof Palme seventeen years earlier.


Update (2003-10-07): A 35-year old man with ties to Sweden's neo nazi scene was arrested shortly after the murder. Two weeks later, the police released him and instead arrested Mijailo Mijailovic, a 24-year old psychically ill son of Serbian immigrants, whose guilt is apparently proven by DNA samples found at the scene of the murder. The victim's successor as minister of foreign affairs is Laila Freivalds, who had been minister of justice in a former government.

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