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Gunfire targets debate on Islam, free speech in Copenhagen Open in fullscreen


Gunfire targets debate on Islam, free speech in Copenhagen

Windows are shot out in Cafe Krudttønden (lit. powder keg) in Copenhagen (AFP)

Date of publication: 14 February, 2015

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One dead, three wounded and two suspects at large in Denmark shooting. Lars Vilks, the Swedish artist behind 2007 Muhammad cartoons, was a participant.
Unidentified assailants Saturday fired on a building in Copenhagen where a debate on Islam and free speech was being held, the French ambassador to Denmark told AFP from inside the venue.


One man has been confirmed dead and three police officer wounded as two suspected assailants fled by car.


"They fired on us from the outside. It was the same intention as (the January 7 attack on) Charlie Hebdo except they didn't manage to get in," Francois Zimeray said by telephone.


Reports said that Swedish artist Lars Vilks, the author of the Prophet Muhammad cartoons published in 2007 that sparked worldwide protests, was also at the debate.


Three police officers were wounded outside the Cafe Krudttønden where the debate was held, Danish media reported, quoting eyewitnesses. Danish police said they had been shot while fending off the assailants.

Krudttønden literally translates as powderkeg.

Zimeray said earlier on Twitter that he was not harmed.


"Intuitively I would say there were at least 50 gunshots, and the police here are saying 200," he told AFP.


"Bullets went through the doors and everyone threw themselves to the floor. We managed to flee the room, and now we're staying inside because it's still dangerous. The attackers haven't been caught and they could very well still be in the neighbourhood."


A Femen activist, Inna Shevshenko, said on Twitter that there were several dozen people in the room.


Police and security officials declined comment when contacted by AFP.


French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius condemned the attack, saying in a statement that France "remains by the side of the Danish authorties and people in the fight against terrorism."


Vilks has been under police protection since his 2007 cartoons were published.


The French president's office said Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve was headed to the scene.

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