Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm, Sweden iStock

Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who had lived under police protection since his 2007 sketch of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad with a dog’s body brought death threats, died from a traffic accident Sunday, The Associated Press reported, citing Swedish news media outlets.

The accident reportedly involved a truck colliding with a civilian police car in which Vilks and his police protection were traveling, news media said.

The Swedish news agency TT said police had confirmed that Vilks, 75, was traveling in the car with two police officers, and the newspaper Dagens Nyheter said the artist’s partner confirmed his death.

The cause of the accident is under investigation.

Vilks’ life changed radically 13 years ago after he drew a sketch of Muhammad with a dog’s body. Following that, the Al-Qaeda terrorist organization put a bounty on Vilks’ head. In 2010, two men tried to burn down his house in southern Sweden.

In 2015, Vilks survived an attack last month in the Danish capital of Copenhagen, in which a Dane of Palestinian Arab origin fired a series of shots at a Copenhagen cultural center that was hosting a debate on free speech attended by Vilks. Following the attack, he lived in a secret location.

The gunman, Omar El-Hussein, later shot dead a Jewish man outside a synagogue before he was killed by police.

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