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One dead in shooting at Danish meeting with artist who drew Mohammad

A civilian was killed and three police were wounded on Saturday in shooting at a meeting in Copenhagen attended by Lars Vilks, an artist who has received death threats since publishing images of the Prophet Mohammad.
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February 14, 2015

A civilian was killed and three police were wounded on Saturday in shooting at a meeting in Copenhagen attended by Lars Vilks, an artist who has received death threats since publishing images of the Prophet Mohammad.

Danish police confirmed one civilian had been killed in the shooting and said the two suspects had fled in a car after the attack on the gathering, which had been billed as a debate on art and blasphemy.

Danish news agency Ritzau said both Vilks and the French ambassador, who was also attending, were both unharmed, but that three police had been wounded.

Police commander Henrik Blandebjerg told local TV there were two assailants. The dead civilian man was 40 years old. Police with searchlights were scouring the area for evidence.

Sweden's security police said Swedish bodyguards were with Vilks at the time of the shooting.

Authorities in southern Sweden said they were helping Danish police. Sweden is joined to Denmark by bridge, and transit across is largely unchecked.

Just over a month ago, 17 people were killed in France in three days of violence that began when two Islamist gunmen burst into the Paris offices of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, opening fire in revenge for its publication of satirical images of Mohammad.

Vilks stirred controversy in 2007 with published drawings depicting Mohammad as a dog which sparked threats from Islamist militant groups.

He has received numerous death threats and has lived under the constant protection of the Swedish police since 2010. Two years ago, an American woman who called herself Jihad Jane was sentenced to 10 years in prison for plotting to kill him.

The scene of the shooting was a cafe at a cultural centre in a central part of Copenhagen.

French President Francois Hollande said Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve would go to the Danish capital as soon as possible.

Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published cartoons by various artists in 2005 depicting Mohammad, provoking protests across the Muslim world in which at least 50 died and death threats against the cartoonists.

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