Swedish Cartoonist Who Depicted Prophet Muhammad as Dog Reportedly Killed in Car Accident

Lars Vilks - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.10.2021
Following the cartoonist's notorious 2007 sketch, he soon landed on al-Qaeda's* hit list, with the terrorist group offering the equivalent of $100,000 for his death. In 2015, Vilks was in attendance at a free speech debate in Copenhagen that became the target of a shooting.
A Swedish cartoonist who infamously depicted the Prophet Muhammad as a dog was reportedly killed in a car accident, it was revealed late Sunday.
Local media outlets have reported that cartoonist Lars Vilks was killed while traveling in a civilian police car near the town of Markaryd in southern Sweden. Vilks' death was reportedly confirmed by his partner, as police have not yet named those involved in the fatal collision.
Aside from Vilks, the accident also claimed the lives of two police officers. A truck driver involved in the accident was also transported to a local area hospital for sustained injuries.
"On Sunday afternoon, an accident occurred on the E4 outside Markaryd when a civilian police car and a truck collided," a release from police indicated. "A protected person and two police officers from the personal protection group in the South region were traveling in the police car. All three died in the collision."
The statement did not detail how the collision occurred.
Vilks, 75, had lived for years under police protection after receiving repeated death threats in response to his depiction of the Prophet Muhammad as a canine. The religious figure is the central character in Islam, and his visual representation is considered by some interpretations of the Koran to be blasphemous.
Vilks' 2007 cartoon prompted widespread outrage at the time, coming one year after a Danish outlet published similar cartoons of the religious character. At the height of the backlash, the fallout prompted former Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt to meet with ambassadors of Muslim majority countries in an attempt to ease tensions.
An investigation into the weekend collision is ongoing.
*Al-Qaeda is a terrorist organization banned in Russia and many other countries.
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