Two masked men armed with knives attacked and threatened the wife of Police Chief Hans Holmer, the man in charge of the hunt for the assassin of prime minister Olof Palme.

Ingrid Holmer was jogging in the forest adjoining her suburban home Tuesday when the two men, wearing black leather jackets, jumped out into the forest path and dragged her to a nearby thicket, according to Stockholm newspapers quoting police sources.

They made several threats against her and her husband. Holmer was thrown to the ground and struck her head on a rock. Before losing consciousness she heard a car drive away, the newspaper Aftonbladet reported.

At her home, Ingrid Holmer's two private bodyguards and her daughter became uneasy when she did not return home. They went looking for her and found her wandering in the forest in a state of shock, the newspapers reported. At a nearby hospital, Ingrid Holmer was found to be suffering from mild concussion and lacerations to her neck and back but was allowed to return home.

Police Chief Holmer declined to comment on the incident, but Stockholm newspapers speculated that it was connected with the Palme case.

The question Swedes are asking is why Ingrid Holmer was not under constant police protection. Since her husband took charge of the Palme murder case, her life had been threatened twice.

Just before Easter she was followed by a man who suddenly approached her and threatened to kill her, news reports said. Then, a week ago the same man chased her in a central Stockholm street shouting threats. Her description of the man tallied with that of "The Shadow," the nickname the police have given to a man they are seeking in connection with the Palme murder.

"The Shadow" has been described as about 35 years old, over 6 feet tall with a boxer's nose and medium blond hair. Several witnesses saw a man answering this description either following Palme or watching his home before the murder Feb. 28.