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One person dead in assassination attempt on controversial artist Lars Vilks

By Amy R. Connolly

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- One person is dead and three Copenhagen police officers were wounded in what is being called an assassination attempt on Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, who is known for his controversial depictions of the Prophet Muhammad.

Authorities said at least 40 shots were fired outside the venue hosting a debate titled "Art, blasphemy and freedom." Vilks and French diplomat Francois Zimeray, who was speaking at the event, were not injured. Copenhagen police are looking for two gunmen who fled in a dark-colored vehicle.

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Witness Pallet Vedel said the two gunmen entered Krudttoenden cafe through the front and began shooting with an automatic rifle.

"There were six or seven policemen in the foyer when the shooting began, and they were quick to respond to the fire, " Vedel told Jyllands-Posten.

The attacks occurred just over a month after gunmen opened fire at Paris headquarters of Charlie Hebdo, which is known for publishing cartoon images of Muhammad. In 2007, Vilks stirred controversy with his depiction of Muhammad as a dog. He has lived under police protection for death threats since 2010.

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