A Swedish artist who survived a collection of assassination makes an attempt after drawing the Prophet Muhammad as a canine has died in a mysterious high-speed crash.
Lars Vilks, 75, had been residing underneath around-the-clock police safety because the 2007 drawing of the Muslim founder fueled dying threats and direct makes an attempt on his life.
He died Sunday when the police automobile he was touring in crashed head-on with a truck on a freeway close to Markaryd, Swedish officers stated.
The automobile — pushed by considered one of his bodyguards — veered throughout a guardrail and onto the fallacious lanes of the freeway, bursting into flames, as did the truck it smashed headfirst into, officers stated.
Vilks and his two plainclothes officers all died on the scene. The 45-year-old truck driver was flown to a hospital with critical accidents, authorities stated.
Chief Prosecutor Kajsa Sundgren stated she had taken over a preliminary investigation into whether or not “any police officer may have committed a crime in connection with the accident.”
However, Carina Persson, the police chief for southern Sweden, insisted that “there is nothing for now that indicates that it was something else but a traffic accident.”
“We are looking into the possibility that there could have been some kind of tire explosion,” senior police officer Stefan Siteus stated — despite the fact that the automobile had puncture-proof tires.
Still, there could be a full investigation to “completely exclude an external act targeting the car in which Lars Vilks found himself,” Sinteus stated at a press convention.
“There is nothing to indicate that, but we want to be certain so we can rule it out,” he added.
Vilks had beforehand insisted that his Muhammad photographs weren’t supposed to offend Muslims however to problem political correctness within the artwork world.
But al Qaeda put a bounty on his head over the 2007 picture displaying the Prophet as a canine, that are thought of unclean by conservative Muslims. Islamic regulation usually opposes any depiction of the Prophet, even favorable, for worry it may result in idolatry.
In 2010, two males tried to burn down his home in southern Sweden, resulting in his full-time police safety.
In 2014, a girl from Pennsylvania who dubbed herself “Jihad Jane” was sentenced to 10 years in jail after pleading responsible to plotting to kill him.
The following 12 months, a free-speech seminar that Vilks attended in Copenhagen, Denmark, was attacked by a lone gunman who killed a Danish movie director and wounded three cops.
Vilks was whisked away unhurt by bodyguards however conceded that he was possible the supposed goal on the occasion marking the twenty fifth anniversary of the fatwa in opposition to British author Salman Rushdie.
The gunman later killed a Jewish safety guard outdoors a synagogue and wounded two extra officers earlier than he was killed in a firefight with police.
Several of his works, together with the one depicting Muhammad’s head on the physique of a canine, are at the moment on show in Warsaw, Poland. The works are being proven as half an exhibition curated by a right-wing director that goals to problem left-wing political correctness.
However, Swedish police stated they aren’t conscious of any new concrete threats in opposition to him forward of Sunday’s lethal crash.