A civilian has been killed and three police officers have been injured after shots were fired at a Copenhagen café where controversial Swedish artist, Lars Vilks, attended a debate.
Danish media said shots were fired Saturday at the building of a the café where a meeting was held by the Swedish cartoonist, Lars Vilks.
The meeting, dubbed “Art, blasphemy and the freedom of expression” was apparently held to justify the cartoonist's sacrilegious depiction of the Prophet Muhammad. The cartoonist is known for his provocative images against Islam’s most revered figure in 2007.
A senior French diplomat, who was attending the event, later told the media that Vilks was alive taking refuge inside the café. Vilks is normally under police protection when he is in Denmark.
Police later said on Twitter that the car used by two suspected gunmen to flee the deadly shooting has been found abandoned.
The Volkswagen Polo was recovered near the scene of the attack.
Danish police say they are investigating the shooting incident at Copenhagen cafe as a terrorist act.
Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt said in a statement that Saturday's shooting was a "terrorist act," adding, "Denmark has today been hit by a cynical act of violence. Everything leads us to believe that the shooting was a political attack and therefore a terrorist act."
The incident came more than a month after the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, which has a history of publishing blasphemous cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, came under attack on January 7, killing 12 people. Muslims across the world condemned both the attack and publication of the sacrilegious cartoons.
After the attack, the French magazine published another cartoon of the Prophet, triggering worldwide condemnation.
Following the release of the cartoon, Pope Francis lashed out at the French magazine, saying that there should be limits to the freedom of expression.
“You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others,” Pope said.