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House of Swedish 'Muhammad' cartoonist attacked

The house of the Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, who depicted the Prophet Muhammad with the body of a dog, was targeted in an arson attack late on Friday, while Vilks was out.

Lars Vilks Karikaturist

The house of Lars Vilks, who caricatured the Prophet Muhammad for an editorial on free speech in a Swedish newspaper in 2007, was attacked by arsonists, police said on Saturday.

"Probably I can't live there any more," said Vilks, who was not home at the time.

"The damage is rather minor; part of the front is blackened and some windows were broken," Scanie district police spokeswoman Sofie Oesterheim told news agency Agence France-Presse. "The fire went out by itself."

Police found glass bottles containing petrol in the house and are treating the attack as arson.

String of attacks

The incident comes just days after Vilks was beaten while giving a lecture at Uppsala University in Sweden.

Vilks, who depicted the Prophet Muhammad with the body of a dog for Swedish daily Nerikes Allehanda in 2007, has been targeted by Muslim extremists ever since.

An al-Qaida organization has offered $100,000 (80,900 euros) to anyone who would murder Vilks.

Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, who showed Muhammad with a bomb-shaped turban in a Danish newspaper in 2005, has also been subject to attacks by outraged Muslims, who believe any depiction of the prophet is blasphemous.

In January, a Somali man was charged with terrorism and attempted murder for breaking into Westergaard's home.

Westergaard's and Vilks' cartoons have sparked outrage across the Muslim world, with at least 50 people killed in riots in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. There were also formal complaints from Pakistan, Egypt and Iran.

ng/AFP/Reuters/AP
Editor: Martin Kuebler

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