Swedish artist Lars Vilks was killed in a mysterious car accident following two assassination attempts by fanatics following a portrait of the Prophet Mohammed.
Wilkes, who had been under police protection since his 2007 sketch of the Prophet Mohammed with the body of a dog, died in a horrific car accident on Sunday.
The provocateur was killed when the police car he was driving collided with a truck on the wrong side of the road.
Both cars caught fire and the 45-year-old truck driver was later taken to a hospital with serious injuries.
Swedish police said 75-year-old Vilks was traveling in a car with two officers at the time of the shocking collision.
His accomplice later confirmed his death and an investigation has been launched.
The fatal accident occurred just before 3 p.m. in Markrid, Kronoberg province, Sweden.
Wilkes gained notoriety and numerous death threats for his portrait of the Prophet Muhammad with the body of a dog.
Dogs are considered unclean by Orthodox Muslims, and Islamic law generally opposes any depiction of the Prophet, even a friendly one, out of fear it might lead to idolatry.
In 2015, lone gunman Omar al-Hussein opened fire in front of Krudtonden Cafe, where the artist was participating in a debate on free speech.
Al-Qaeda placed a bounty on Wilkes’ head, and in 2010, two men tried to burn down his home in southern Sweden.
Just last year a Pennsylvania woman pleaded guilty to conspiracy to kill him.
On the accident, National Police Chief Anders Thornberg said: “It is with dismay and great sadness that I receive the news that this afternoon two of our colleagues and our guard have died.
“My thoughts are with his relatives, families, friends and co-workers.”
Wilkes’ family and two officials have been notified.
Senior Prosecutor Anders Jakobson said: “The information I have now indicates that this is an accident.
“But the investigation is at a very early stage.”
The truck driver was taken to the hospital and the police would interrogate him.
The car carrying Vicks was reportedly traveling at high speed before it crossed the other lane and collided with the truck, knocking him down.
Swedish police have said they cannot rule out “criminal suspicion” at the present time.
According to Swedish media outlet Expressen, rescue services and police said it would take some effort to get a car into the other lane, as they were separated by a wire fence.
That patch of road has been rebuilt several times in recent years to improve traffic conditions.
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