Prophet Mohammed cartoonist dies in car crash

Swedish artist Lars Vilks at his home outside Hoganas in Sweden, May 16, 2010. (AP photo)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, who lived under police protection after his 2007 depiction of the Prophet Mohammed prompted death threats, died on Sunday in a car accident, according to local media.

The 75-year-old and two police officers were killed in a collision with an oncoming truck, Swedish police confirmed to AFP.

“This is being investigated like any other road accident. Because two policemen were involved, an investigation has been assigned to a special section of the prosecutor’s office,” AFP quoted a police spokesperson as saying.

There was no suspicion of foul play, the police spokesperson added.

Swedish news media reported that the accident reportedly involved a truck colliding with a civilian police car in which Vilks and his police protection were travelling.

He had been under police protection since his 2007 cartoon of Mohammed with a dog’s body prompted outrange among those who consider depictions of the Muslim prophet deeply offensive or blasphemous.

Al-Qaeda put a bounty of Vilks’ head. In 2010, two men tried to burn down his house in southern Sweden. In 2015, Vilks survived a gun attack at a free-speech conference in Copenhagen that left a Danish film director dead.

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