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Swedish Mohammed cartoonist attacked

Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, who sparked controversy by drawing Prophet Mohammed with the body of a dog, was on Tuesday attacked while giving a lecture at a university. Watch the film.

Sweden expels Syrian diplomat over 'kidnap attempt'
Mohammed cartoon published again in Sweden

"The man was sat in the first row and suddenly he rushed at me. He punched me in the head and I lost my glasses," said Vilks, adding that at the very most he was "a little bruised."

Police said around 250 people were present at the time of the attack at the university of Uppsala, north of the Stockholm.

"When Lars Vilks arrived, five persons started to protest against him with screaming. They calmed down and the lecture continued.

"When Lars Vilks talked about religion and showed a film, 20 persons tried to attack him, probably offended by the film."

Police evacuated the lecture hall but some demonstrators resisted forcing officers to use tear gas. Two people were arrested.

In 2007, Swedish regional daily Nerikes Allehanda published Vilks' satirical cartoon to illustrate an editorial on the importance of freedom of expression.

The cartoon prompted protests by Muslims in the town of Oerebro, west of Stockholm, where the newspaper is based, while Egypt, Iran and Pakistan made formal complaints.

An Al-Qaeda front organisation then offered 100,000 dollars to anyone who murdered Vilks -- with an extra 50,000 if his throat was slit -- and 50,000 dollars for the death of Nerikes Allehanda editor-in-chief Ulf Johansson.

Last Updated (Wednesday, 12 May 2010 09:25)

 

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