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Home of Swedish Muhammad cartoonist attacked - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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STOCKHOLM (AP) – The home of a Swedish artist who once drew a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad as a dog has been hit by a suspected arson attack, police said Saturday.

Lars Vilks, who lives in Nyhamnslage in southern Sweden, was not at home during the attack late Friday night and no one was reported injured.

It was the latest in a week of attacks on the 53-year-old cartoonist, who was assaulted Tuesday by a man while he lectured at a university and saw his Web site apparently attacked by hacker on Wednesday.

Police were alerted just before noon Saturday, as people passing by the artist’s house noted that several windows had been smashed. When officers arrived, they discovered plastic bottles filled with gasoline and fire damage on the surface of the building. Attackers are also suspected of having tried setting the inside of house on fire, but the flames are thought to have fizzled out.

Police have no suspects in the case, police Spokeswoman Sofie Osterheim said.

Vilks, who often jokes about the threats he has received since his 2007 sketch of Muhammad, including from Al Qaeda, said the latest attack doesn’t raise his fears more than usual.

“I’m not really more afraid than what I think is realistic,” he told the Associated Press over the telephone.

Vilks has faced numerous threats over his drawing. Earlier this year, U.S. investigators said Vilks was the target of an alleged murder plot involving Colleen LaRose, an American woman who dubbed herself “Jihad Jane,” and who now faces life in prison. She has pleaded not guilty.

Vilks depicted Muhammad more than a year after 12 Danish newspaper cartoons of the prophet sparked furious protests in Muslim countries in 2006. Images of Muhammad, even favorable ones, are considered blasphemous by many Muslims.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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