Artist who drew controversial Prophet Muhammad cartoon killed in mystery crash
He famously sketched a cartoon of Muhammad's head on a dog's body
Lars Vilks, the Swedish artist who sparked uproar back in 2007 when he sketched a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad's head onto a dog's body, has been killed in a traffic incident on Sunday (October 3). It is unclear what caused the high-speed crash.
The 75-year-old died while travelling in a police vehicle after it collided with a truck in Markaryd, southern Sweden. The two police officers in the car were also killed and the truck driver is also said to have been injured.
Vilks had been living under police protection ever since his controversial cartoon caused outrage in the Muslim community. Al-Qaeda are believed to have offered Iraq a $100,000 (£73,692) reward for his murder.
In 2015, Vilks also believed he was the intended target when a film director was killed at a free speech event in Copenhagen. You can hear him describe the incident on CNN below:
A statement from police said it is still unclear exactly how or why the collision occurred but that, as of yet, there is nothing to suggest that anyone else was involved. It is believed that the car was travelling at high speed, according to local media reports.
An eyewitness told Aftonbladet newspaper that the car seemed to lose control and came over to his side of the motorway at "incredible speed". The truck in front did not have time to swerve before colliding, causing a loud bang.
A police spokesperson told AFP news agency: "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" - the rationale being that there is no suggestion of foul play.
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