Muhammad cartoonist Lars Vilks killed in traffic collision

Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who sketched the Prophet Muhammad’s head on a dog’s body, has died in a traffic accident, the BBC reports.

Vilks was reported to be travelling in a civilian police vehicle which collided with a truck near the town of Markaryd in southern Sweden.

Two police officers were also killed and the truck driver was injured.

The 75-year-old artist had been living under police protection after being subjected to death threats over the cartoon.

The cartoon, published in 2007, offended many Muslims who regard visual representation of the Prophet as blasphemous. It came a year after a Danish newspaper published cartoons of the Prophet.

statement from police said it was still unclear how the collision occurred, but initially there was nothing to suggest that anyone else was involved.

“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,” a police spokesperson told news agency AFP, adding that there was no suspicion of foul play.

The police car Vilks was in was travelling at high speed, according to local media reports.

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