updated 7/23/2008 6:30:55 PM ET 2008-07-23T22:30:55

A German woman was charged Wednesday with bludgeoning two toddlers to death with a hammer and seriously injuring their mother in a rampage in Sweden spurred by jealousy over an ex-boyfriend.

According to the charges, the woman entered the family’s home March 17 in Arboga, about 95 miles west of Stockholm, armed with a “hammer or hammer-like object” and struck them with repeated blows to their heads and bodies with the intent to kill.

The children — ages 1 and 3 — died from their injuries. Their mother survived the attack, but was hospitalized for weeks.

The 32-year-old German woman was detained in Hanover, Germany, days after the attack and later extradited to Sweden.

Swedish prosecutor Frieda Gummesson claimed in the charges filed at the Vastmanland District Court on Wednesday that the woman was upset that her ex-boyfriend had started a new relationship with the children’s mother.

The defendant, whose name was withheld in line with Swedish privacy rules, denied involvement in the attack.

She told investigators she had been in the area to study rune stones, boulders with Viking-age inscriptions scattered around the Swedish countryside.

“My client denies (the charges) most decidedly. She is totally innocent,” said Per-Ingvar Ekblad, the woman’s defense lawyer.

Ekblad questioned the prosecutor’s evidence in the case, saying there was no DNA evidence linking his client to the crime.

Gummesson has built her case on testimony from more than 50 witnesses as well as handwritten and electronic records she claims prove the German woman was resorting to “increasingly drastic measures” to stop her former boyfriend’s new relationship.

Ekblad said the trial is expected to start next week. If convicted, the German woman could face between 10 years and life in prison.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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