Muhammad cartoonist killed in traffic collision – media reports

Muhammad cartoonist killed in traffic collision - media reports
Lars Vilks was under police protection because of his 2007 image of the Prophet Muhammad as a dog. Source: EPA
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Daily US Times: A cartoonist from Sweden has died in a car crash on Sunday. He sketched the Prophet Muhammad’s head on a dog’s body.

Lars Vilks was travelling in a civilian police vehicle that collided with a truck near Markaryd town in southern Sweden.

Two police officers also died in the collision and the truck driver was injured.

The 75-year-old Swedish cartoonist lived under police protection after being subjected to death threats over Prophet Mohammad’s cartoon.

The cartoon was published in 2007 and offended many Muslims who regard visual representation of the Prophet as blasphemous. The car crash came a year after a newspaper from Denmark published cartoons of the Prophet.

Police haven’t revealed the identity of those killed in Sunday’s car crash, but Vilks’s partner confirmed his death to Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

A police statement said it was still not clear how the collision occurred but initially there was nothing to suggest that anyone else was involved.

The cartoon caused outrage and led then Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt to meet ambassadors from 22 Muslim countries in an attempt to defuse the situation.

Shortly afterwards, al-Qaeda in Iraq offered a $100,000 reward for his murder.

Vilks attended a debate on free speech in 2015 that was targeted in a gun attack in Copenhagen. The cartoonist said he was probably the target of the attack, which killed a film director.

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