(Illustration) Thinkstock

Two armed men on Sunday night opened fire on a security officer outside of a contest for cartoons depictions of the founder of Islam, Mohammed, in a suburb of Dallas, Texas, reports The Associated Press (AP).

The city of Garland said in a statement posted on its Facebook page that the two men drove up to the Curtis Culwell Center and began shooting at a security officer.

The statement added that Garland Police Department officers engaged the gunmen, who were both shot and killed.

The statement did not indicate, however, whether the shooting was related to the event, saying only the gunmen's vehicle may contain an "incendiary device." A bomb squad is on scene.

Nearby businesses were evacuated.

The American Freedom Defense Initiative was hosting a contest that would award $10,000 for the best cartoon depicting the Prophet Mohammed, according to AP.

While it remains unclear whether the shooting in Texas was related to the Mohammed contest, caricatures of the Muslim prophet have in the past resulted in violence.

In January, the offices of the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo were attacked by Islamist gunmen who killed 12 people.

The offices of the weekly were firebombed by suspected Islamists in 2011 when it published other cartoons making fun of Mohammed, causing no injuries.