Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh has died in hospital one day after being stabbed several times by an unidentified man in the centre of Stockholm.
Mrs Lindh had been shopping unaccompanied by bodyguards when the attack took place.
The 46-year-old foreign minister was one of the country's most popular politicians with a reputation for competence and consistence.
A vehement pro-European, she was at the heart of the government's campaign to win a sceptical public round to euro membership.
Commentators had suggested her personal popularity could have been a significant factor in tipping public opinion, prompting one newspaper to crown her the "Yes Queen".
Thank you for your tributes to Anna Lindh. Read a selection of your e-mails below.
The following comments reflect the balance of views we have received:
My deepest sympathies to the people of Sweden. Other countries could learn a lot from Sweden's brand of democracy. I hope that this tragedy won't change their open, inclusive tradition.
My family and I were shocked and saddened to hear about the murder of our foreign minister, Anna Lindh. She was a breath of fresh air in our government and a brilliant politician. She had so much charisma and seemed to be such a genuine down-to-earth person. She will be greatly missed, not only by Swedes but further afield too. Our hearts go out to her husband and two young sons. Dear Anna, may you rest in peace.
Lisa Nyström, Sweden
"Women heroines", so few, yet so vulnerable! May God rest her soul in eternal peace, AMEN.
Lutgard Kagaruki (Ms), Tanzania
Anna Lindh personified modern Sweden. She was a strikingly beautiful person with a strong deep intellect. Sweden is a very special place which every now and then produces very special people, like Anna Lindh. It is such a tragedy to loose her voice in national and international forums, who so desperately needed it. My heart felt condolences to her loved ones, her friends and the people of Sweden.
Declan Caulfield, Sweden/Irish
As recently as last month I was reading Thomas Mann's thank you speech when he was awarded the Nobel price for literature in 1929. I always felt pride that there is such a country on earth which sets examples for the rest! I have always admired Sweden for its strive for human development. Here I am in a desert town in the United States, about 10 thousand kilometres away from Sweden; distances do not matter because I believe that the good people of Sweden and the politicians they chose will always influence us no matter where we live. Anna Lindh will always live for us.
I voted no for the Euro but it doesn't matter. I can't find words for how I'm feeling. It's so sad, I have cried several times for you. But you will always stay in my mind Anna FOREVER!
Henrik Selin, Sweden
The world in general and Sweden in particular have lost a great human being due to the insane and barbaric act. My heart felt condolences to Anna's family.
It seems as if the brightest stars are the ones taken from us so soon. My heart goes out to her family and to your country. Coming from a nation that is gutted with senseless, random violence, I'm sorry that this pall has been cast on your relatively peaceful, democratic society.
I'm crying now, reading all these condolences from people from all over the world. It moves me and makes me realize even more what an impact Anna Lindh had on people, not only in Sweden. That say's a lot about her. She was an example, a role model to so many people. Sweden needed her, the world needed her. Why did she have to go? In this sad time it seems like it's always the good people that dies; Olof Palme, Princess Diana...and now Anna Lindh. We will always remember her. My condolences to her family.
Ulrika Norman, Sweden
We must all remember that all good things created in this world started with one person having a thought. All good things that happened started with one single idea. Let's not let our thoughts and ideas stop flowing. Let the thoughts and ideas of one woman serve as an example that good things can, and will, get done. Think Nelson Mandela, think Martin Luther King, think Anna Lindh. Shalom.
Deep regrets to the husband and children. After reading lots of messages I can't help but to notice that nobody mentioned the everyday violence here in Sweden. Only when people here recognise the problem and react to it will things get better.
Mike Beale, Sweden/British
Why do these terrible things only seem to happen to the best of humanity?
John Toorain, UK
Ms. Lindh - you were a strong, bold and wise woman, the flagship of the Swedish Riksdag. And beside this, you were a wife and mother, nurturing a family all the while trying to bring about political and economic change in your nation.
We will never forget you and how you embodied Swedish moderation and rationalism.
The monuments to your cause sit not only affront the doors of NK and public buildings throughout Sweden, but in the hearts of those who loved and respected you all around the world.
I was really hoping that she would become our prime minister. But now because of some psycho she is dead, and she'll never get to show her full potential. I'm sad for her family and friends, and the future generations of Sweden that will never live in a better Sweden, that she would have given us.
We have lost the best politician we ever had. She was going to be our "First Lady" Why did this have to happened??? I am going to miss you Anna, my tears will never dry. My thoughts are with your husband and children. May you rest in peace
I am shocked with this murder. I remembered when she visited Croatia early this year and saw what a clever women she is. Give my condolences to Anna's husband and little boys. With all my sympathy
I came to Sweden over 30 years ago and thought I had come to heaven after living almost four years in the USA. It had almost no crime and it was a very clean country, in all those years I have seen a difference, especially to the crime rate that's escalated here. Never in my wildest dreams did I think anything like assassinations could happen here but they have. What is now going to happen to this open society? What happened to Anna Lindh I hope will not be the end of it. May you rest in peace, and thank you for what you did for Sweden.
My deepest condolences to the husband and children of this great woman. It is a shame that her life was cut short in her prime. This is the act of a coward. May her dear soul rest in peace. I hope the Swedish police will not rest until this coward has been arrested and put behind bars. This are the times when I wish every country could have the death penalty.
Kaday Sibanda, Zimbabwe
My condolences to Anna's family and friends, they have lost a mother and Sweden has lost one of its greatest politicians since Palme! Anna was a down to earth politician and this may have been a indirect cause to her death. She was a strong, kind and "human" politician and she was the window to Sweden, representing all that's good about our country. To quote Colin Powel "There are three things I like about Sweden, Abba, Volvo and Anna!"
I am shocked beyond belief for her sudden death. My heart goes to his family, and I'm sure that this killer will be punished as soon as possible. For you Anna may your soul will rest in perfect peace.
Jennie Galang, Hong Kong
We the Muslims and the oppressed people have lost a sincere and highly respected politician. May her soul rest in peace. My condolences to Anna's husband and her sons.
May God Almighty have Mercy on her soul and give her peace. I miss her so much although I never met her, she was one of the best human beings living, she was my star, my heart goes to her children, husband and Swedish people. Anna Lindh, I will miss you forever.
My condolences to her family, as well as the Swedish people. A courageous, intelligent and well-liked person has been cowardly murdered - and I do hope that her killer will be found and made to pay the price.
Jurgen W Schulze,
Condolences to Anna Lindh's family and the Swedish people. She was a strong politician and a role model for the women of the world. Great people never die - they are immortal and remain alive in everyone's heart through their ideologies and actions.
My condolences to Anna's husband and her sons. It's a great loss but we will never forget her.
How horrible it is to lose such a wonderful woman. I remember meeting Ms Lindh while my father was a lobbyist for foreign relations. She was the first person to approach my family and she even offered to give us a tour of Stockholm! She was so nice and kind and did not deserve to die so young and so painfully.
As an Englishman who has settled in Sweden, I think that many of my countrymen will have difficulty understanding just what a great and irreplaceable loss Anna Lindh is to Sweden. She was Sweden's most highly respected and best loved politician. She would, I believe, have become a truly inspirational prime minister and world leader. She was unique in her generation of politicians. Sweden is a wonderfully open and tolerant country, and this week we have learnt that sometimes there is a huge price to pay. But I do not think that we will let one person destroy that, and by keeping society open we will have found the best way to honour the memory of Anna Lindh. Thank you for your example, Anna, and rest in peace.
Anna was a bright woman who wasn't afraid of saying what she thought and believed in. Every time she was on the news I always had a smile on my face because she reminded me that there is hope for this world. My condolences go to her children and husband. Sweden will never be the same.
Anna Lindh was a great role model, not only for women in Sweden but for women all over the world. She had a way of reaching everyone, of connecting with everyone which made her one of the most important leaders of Sweden. Anna, you'll be missed.
I live in the town that Anna blessed with her smile, when I saw her on the streets of Nyköping she always gave me a big smile, just as she did to everybody. This town will not be what it used to be without you Anna. My condolence goes towards her children, husband and close family.
Peter Jansson, Sweden
Europe and Sweden has lost a brilliant scholar. This will be an everlasting irreparable loss. Swedes know that the vacuum will not be filled in this generation because the likes of Anna are rare. The unexpected tragedy defiles the norms of an erstwhile peaceful scandinavian island. We were all in tears because we will never see Anna again. One hopes that her dreams and legacies become endearing. She was gone too soon. Adieu.
Anna Lindh was a bright star in the firmament of Europe and the world. We will mourn her and miss her wise counsel for many years to come.
Kathy Mullen, USA
I was deeply moved by the news of Anna Lindh's death, both because she represented the best of ideals and politics, but also because she had managed to stay in touch with the people of Sweden. Nonetheless, this tragic event also draws attention to Sweden's political culture - why is Sweden the only country of Northern Europe to have seen so much political violence? The Palme assassination, continuous right wing attacks and bombings and now this? There may be no pattern at all, but at least to me, it seems frightening that a democratic welfare state produces this kind of response.
She was one of the bravest leaders in the world. I'll always remember and admire her.
Another September 12 I wake up in disbelief, surely yesterday didn't happen? I saw her in passing on BBC only a few days ago, and I felt proud. She had the respect of so many world leaders as well as from the Swedish people; I really admired her outlook on world politics, career and life. She was just very cool. What a horrible loss to her family and the rest of us just knowing her in her role as foreign minister and humanitarian. We have lost a great role model, and I hope they find the man who took her life very soon.
Susanna, Swedish living in London
Words escape me. This is a crime against democracy, a crime against freedom, a crime against Sweden, a crime against a mother and a wife. Rest in peace. You will be missed. I only hope the perpetrator is caught unlike Palme's killer.
Daniel Stephens, The Netherlands
Anna Lindh was a great leader. I'm totally devastated over her death. My condolences to her family and friends.
Lynn, United Kingdom
My condolences to all the Swedish people. I hope that the death of one of your most beloved politicians does not undermine your country's leading role in the world as a powerhouse of progressive ideas for social peace and justice. The thoughts put forward by Anna Lindh should not die with her.
Aristides Garcia, The Netherlands
What a cowardly attack this was. What is wrong with people? What is wrong with the society which in all its well-being becomes so destructive. There are no words to express the sad feeling for this tragedy. Our sincere condolences go to Anna's two boys and her husband and the Swedish people who have opened their doors to so many in need of a new homeland.
I was very sad when Anna Lindh died, my parents used to live in Sweden and so we are still keen to know what is happening in that beautiful country in the North. I can only say be courageous Swedes, the world is with you. I do not think you should change your way of life. You are great and the people from the little island of Malta remember you.
My condolences to Anna Lindh's family. Sweden will also remember September 11 as a day when her most loved politician died. Sympathies to the people of Sweden from Thailand.
Thamon Master, Thailand
I had a lot of time for her, especially when I knew that she does not have security guards, unlike our Arab governors who spend millions of dollars on their own security, when the money can be used to improve schools and hospitals
We mourn with her family and her country. She was the role model for women beyond Sweden and Europe, a model of a true social democrat and everything a good politician should be. Deepest condolences to her sons and husband - this is also a personal tragedy and our sympathies go out to them.
Lejla Somun, Bosnia and Herzegovina
My deepest condolences to her family and Swedish people. I am from Serbia, and exactly six months ago our Prime Minister was assassinated. In a very brutal irony of destiny, Anna Lindh was in Belgrade on that day and was about to meet him some 30 minutes after the time of his murder. And now, the same thing happened to her. This is a tragic, tragic loss. She was a great friend. She will be truly missed.
Sweden has lost one of her foremost representative on the whole stage. My condolence goes towards her children, husband and close family.
My heart goes out to Anna Lindh's family, and all the Swedish people. In Finland we are mourning her death as one of our own, in situations like these the boarder between Finland and Sweden ceases to exist. Finnish flag was half mast at the front of the parliament yesterday. Your sorrow is shared by us.
Sincere condolences to her family! We must find a way to KEEP control or supervision over ALL mentally disturbed individuals!
Jonathan Hutchings, Finland
Anna, we met once in the headquarters of the UN in NYC and from that day I have had you as a role model! You stood up for the important values of peace and human rights. You were able to show empathy with fragile people in our society and it so unjust that a mentally ill homeless person now has stabbed you to death¿ Why? Why? Why? The Swedish bubble of safety has been popped¿
Åsa Frostfeldt, Sweden
We mourn Sweden's huge loss in China for her formidable spirit. She is the one of the most eminent female and best politician in the world. Condolences to the great people of Sweden from China!
Jacky BU, china
There are a few, very few, select people of whom this world is not worthy. May the world you have moved on to, Anna, be a better place for you.
My sympathy goes to her family who have lost a member. Not only was she an excellent politician and Foreign Minister, but also a wonderful mother who combined her work and private life in an outstanding way. Anna, we will always remember you!
Tony Albinsson, Sweden
Please accept our deepest regret for the tragic loss of Anna Lindh.
Evi Piperidis, Greece
I am so sorry for this great loss of Sweden. I pray for her and her family and wish them and the people of Sweden great success and peace.
Masum Azizi, AIA, USA
When Anna visited our school two weeks ago, I thought I had nothing better to do, so I went to listen what she had to say about the euro. When she was finished I was so amazed! What an incredible woman! She was a brilliant politician and it is a huge loss not only for Sweden but also for Europe. I will never forget you Anna. How can we find the strength to go on without your enthusiasm and competence?
We mourn Sweden's loss in the US, with deep respect for her abiding strength, her courage and her indomitable spirit. Condolences to the great people of Sweden from America.
Howard, United States
May Anna's legacy be that Sweden does not change or shift its standards of individual freedom and rights.
The rest of Europe and the world probably doesn't realise how much she will be missed.
Isn't it amazing how some political arguments suddenly seem so meaningless.
The world has lost another champion of human rights. I was born in South Africa, and the memories of Olof Palme are still fresh in my mind. Sweden has produced the best politicians in the world, and, I for one will never ever forget the hospitality I received when visited that country in 1981. I have tears dripping in my heart as my thoughts goes to Anna Lindh's family.
George Ushindi, USA
It is a sad world that makes things like this happen. It is even more sad that the only answer we can think of is suppression and loss of freedom and trust. Don't let this happen! Our condolences to the husband and children of Anna, and the people of Sweden.
Otto Lussenburg, The Netherlands
She was the best foreign minister ever!
Europe and Sweden have lost a formidable politician and an adorable person. The whole of Finland is with you, Swedes, and so are all others who oppose this kind of mindless violence.
Pekka Tuominen, Finland
We have lost not only a brilliant politician, but a powerful woman, an inspirational figure for many women in the third world.
I was extremely saddened to hear about Sweden's loss. I work for a Swedish company and really hold high regard for the Swedish culture of openness and informality. It is with deep regret that a wicked act like this has been carried out. I hope it does not tarnish the openness of such a wonderful culture.
Omar Mahmood, UK
September 11th. When I went to bed last night, I knew today would be a sad day no matter what, but to wake up to the news that our brilliant 'first lady' in politics has been stabbed to death in the middle of the afternoon, is just heartbreaking. Anna Lindh was there, always, in our faces, with her huge eyeglasses (back in the 80s) and made us either annoyed or impressed...but she reached us. Affected us. Politics may not interest everyone, but her enthusiasm and passion were unmistakable, and she got our attention. We could trust her to get IT done. I look at pictures today, and I love seeing her in the midst of the 'suits,' wearing a red jacket, holding a conversation with Russia and France. Very cool--and inspiring.
She was a genuine and a good-hearted politician. May God Almighty have Mercy on her soul and give her peace. I met her a couple of times and admired her knowledge and clear-sightedness. A great tragedy for our Swedish kingdom.
Pierre Durrani, Sweden
It's a sad world when things like this can happen. My feelings go out to her family and the Swedish people.
Paul Addison, England
This is, once again, a painful reminder that democracy and freedom is a very fragile thing. This isn't only an attack on Anna Lindh, this is an attack on democracy. The terrible thing about this is that these things happens all the time to people who want to change things; who are politically strong - Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, John Lennon, Olof Palme and many others. All these were people who fought for democracy, equality, unity, freedom and peace. And now we add the latest victim to that list. Anna Lindh, you will be forever missed.
Another senseless death. My condolences go to her family and the country. I respected her for her views and the courage to stand up to them. Every government official in Sweden must have a 24 hour protection from now on.
I just ask with tears in my eyes. How such tragedy would happen to such a niece country and such peaceful and beautiful people. My sympathies for everyone in Sweden. Especially her husband and children.
Anna Maria Amar-Robbins,
Mrs Lindh was a great humanitarian. She stood for peace even though her anti-American views did correlate with a realistic approach to peace worldwide. Never the less, she voiced her opinion strongly and that is what freedom and democracy is about, the right to say what you think even if it is sometimes against world opinion.
Living in a country thought to free and open yet whose citizenry freedoms are threatened by post WTC laws, such as the Patriot and Homeland Security Acts, it is disturbing to see a truly free, democratic, and neutral country such as Sweden experience another tragedy again. My condolences to the Swedish people and the Lindh family.
Debbie Kellogg, United States
Sad, so sad, my condolences to her family. I mourn with them. Olof Palme in 1986 and Anna Lindh in 2003. In the wake of this brutal murder of Mrs Anna Lindh, the government must seriously consider closing the existing security gap for Swedish politicians.
Omar A. Alasow,
What a tragedy! The perpetrator has ruined our sense of democracy and safety. I hope that he'll get caught soon and imprisoned for life.
A great loss for Sweden and Europe. My deepest sympathies for our friends in Sweden.
Keller, Wolfgang, Germany
Swedish support was very impressive for all small nations all over the world. Anna Lindh was the soul of democratic policy of Sweden. Heartfelt condolences to her family and friends and Swedish nation.
In the US you often hear the expression "best and the brightest" used in reference to young, talented leaders. It suited Anna Lindh to a "t". What a loss for Sweden.
Steve H, Sweden
The tragic and senseless loss of an honest politician in a wonderful country which I've visited many times. To her family and friends and colleagues: my deepest sympathies. To the person who did this: shame on you.
A devastating loss for our country. She was a professional politician, intelligent and brave and seemed free of hate and negativity. We should have protected her better.
Why? That is the only thought spinning round in my head. She was my "girl", she lived in my town, Nykoeping, and now she is dead! Life sucks and it is hard to live right now. My thoughts are with her husband and children. Rest in peace Anna, we all loved you!
She was the best representative Sweden could have. She was the embodiment of the values Sweden stands for; diplomacy, equality, solidarity. She was humble yet tough when it was called for. We have, again, lost one of our great politicians. She will be truly missed.
C.A. von Mentzer,
In Anna Lindh, the world has lost one of the most important voices against US arrogance, Israeli violence and inhuman acts of terror worldwide. An the world need those people badly.
This is insane. I can still hardly believe it. Of all the Swedish politicians she was the one I admired the most. Sensible, engaged and brave, a politician that you really could identify with. Such politicians are needed, this is a great loss.
She was my favourite minister and would have been a fantastic prime minister. Talked sensible, straight and with confidence. A great woman in a naive country.
Niclas H, Sweden
My favourite Scandinavian politician. She held my deepest respect. "Jeg lyser fred over Anna Lindhs minne".
I mourn with Anna Lindh's family and worry about Sweden's future. Why does it exist that people who cannot understand and accept the result of democracy in a society, and the right every individual have to live? What are we without democracy?
Svante Svanberg, Sweden
The death of foreign minister Anna Lindh has been a shock to the Swedish people. I hope that the protection around important ministers like the foreign minister and the minister of Justice will be better. But one thing is clear; Sweden will never be the same again.
Dear Sweden, we greatly mourn for your loss. You are a country that we look up to. Your policies are based in the interests of humanity and not big business. Your openness and egalitarianism as a society is what we consider as civilized. Although these times are troubling for you as a nation we hope that you do not get reduced to a state of paranoid anxiety like the rest of us and that you can continue to be an example that we can strive to emulate. We wish you our heartfelt sympathies.
A remarkable woman who portrayed the best of Swedish values through her engagement in world politics. As I'm working in an international organization, I have many times heard people praising her ability and her strong sense of right. This will evidentially raise the issues of how Swedish culture and what is called "folkhemmet" will be affected. It's a sad day for Sweden and for people who believe in freedom, democracy and the right to opinion.
Lars Narfeldt, Sweden / Afghanistan
Thank you Anna for being such a professional politician and daring to stand up against the US. You have earned our respect and love through you work. Our thoughts goes to family and relatives. Our prayers goes to you.
We have lost one of our best politicians, regardless of political preferences. It is a tragic day.
Anna Lindh was the first woman in a leading position that women in our country could identified with. She was a powerful woman with much influence throughout the world, but she also served as the role of a mother. Our country is damaged, and Sweden is of this point a country which is grieving the lost of a tremendous woman, but also the lost of our innocence.
Anna. To me and many others you were the one to become our next prime minister. This makes us very sorry to lose you. At the same time grateful for what you did for us while you were here. Your spirit and values will not be forgotten. Rest in peace.
Let me express my deepest condolences to Anna Lindh's children and husband. It's such a tragedy, and the nation is in shock.
Lennart Westman, Sweden
I received the news of Mrs Lindhs death with a sad heart. She was a woman and a politician to be admired. Clear in her answers, always well-prepared and straight-forward. Rest in peace Anna.
Ulf Sjöström, Finland
Lots of respect to Anna Lindh. It is a bad day for Sweden and Europe. It is comparable with the shock we felt in the Netherlands when Pim Fortuyn was murdered last year, although I don't want to compare these politicians. But Sweden as the Netherlands used to be a tolerant and open society until now. Condolences to your family and friends and the people of Sweden.
Theo, the Netherlands
This murder is a big shock to us all here in the Nordic countries. We have learned during the last decades to respect human rights and democracy very strongly. If someone in Sweden is not satisfied with the current situation, then form a political party and try to get your party into the parliament and influence people for a change. There are many countries, claiming that they speak for freedom and democracy, where this is simply not possible. Violence will create more problems than solve. When will the human race learn that! Anna was a big supporter for peace and human rights! My condolences to the Swedish people.
I was saddened to hear of the death of Anna Lindh, it sent a shock through my system when I heard the news this morning. I hope Sweden can maintain its enlightening approach to security which keeps it apart from other nations. May she rest in peace.
Insane act of a madman. I am grieved.
As a passionate supporter of Europe and social democracy, I'd like to pay my tributes to a courageous and honest politician whose example will shine as a guiding light to all of us in the Nordic Countries. She was groomed in the tradition of Olof Palme, and it feels as if the same target has been struck twice. This murder hits all of us equally, no matter what kind of politics we support. Still we have to keep on fighting for the tolerant, open, and just Europe that Anna Lindh was the best hope of. I lived in Sweden for some years and she was my favourite Swedish politician. Rest in peace, Anna Lindh.
Topi Lappalainen, Finland
Thanks Anna for all you did for Sweden in Europe!
My condolences to Anna Lindh's family and mainly her sons. Sweden has lost one of her most popular and skilled politicians. All day yesterday, I was hoping she would survive and we would have news that now she is out of a critical condition, but to our dismay, she succumbed to the attack. The world has lost another good person, GOD bless her soul and her family.
How shocking and sad, this second assassination of a prominent political figure in such a tolerant and open society. It appears to be as dangerous to express one's views in Oslo as it is in Baghdad nowadays. Heartfelt condolences to her family.
Wim de Graeve,
A very sad day, we should have a day of mourning. She reminds me of Princess Diana.
Chris Hughes, Wales
Deeds like these are unfortunately something that we will have to expect happen to our government officials. Although appalling and a cause for resentment towards those sick individuals that commits these acts, it is terribly so. Government officials have been slain since the first government of ancient times. Even though this argument is not an excuse for this type of behaviour, we can not allow the world to stop turning but fight even harder to get to the roots of these problems. My thoughts go to her loved ones and hopefully the police will catch this dimwit within the immediate future.
K. Wikman, Sweden
I can only cry.
At a loss for words. Devastated. Just devastated.
It saddens me to see such a terrible thing happen in such a peace loving and beautiful country. I visited Sweden last year and would like to offer my sympathy to its people.
Mike Harney, UK
Lots of respect to Anna Lindh. It is a bad day from Sweden and Europe. Condolences to your family and friends.
Sweden lost its best leader.