Shots fired at Copenhagen cafe free speech event

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Copenhagen, Feb 14: Shots were fired on Satuday at a cafe in Copenhagen that was hosting a freedom of speech event organized by Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who has faced numerous threats for caricaturing the Prophet Muhammad in 2007.

Some 30 bullet holes ripped through the window of the Krudttoenden cafe and at least two people were taken away on stretchers, including a uniformed police officer, the TV2 channel said today.

François Zimeray, the French ambassador to Denmark, was at the conference and tweeted that he was "still alive."

Helle Merete Brix, one of the organisers of the event, told The Associated Press that Vilks was also present at the event but not injured.

"I saw a masked man running past," she said. "A couple of police officers were injured." "I clearly consider this as an attack on Lars Vilks," she added, saying she was ushered away with Vilks by one of the Danish police guards that he gets whenever he is in Denmark.

The cafe in northern Copenhagen, known for its jazz concerts, was hosting an event titled "Art, blasphemy and the freedom of expression" when the shots were fired. Niels Ivar Larsen, one of the speakers at the event, told TV2 that at least two people were wounded.

Vilks, a 68-year-old Swedish artist, has faced several attempted attacks and death threats. A Pennsylvania woman last year got a 10-year prison term for a plot to kill Vilks.

In 2010 two brothers tried to burn down his house in southern Sweden and were imprisoned for attempted arson.

AP

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