2 Jan 2010

Intruder shot at home of Danish cartoonist

4:59 pm on 2 January 2010

Police in Denmark have shot and wounded a man in the home of Kurt Westergaard, whose cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad sparked international protests.

Danish media say Mr Westergaard was in his home in Aarhus with his wife and grandchild when a man broke in and threatened him with a hammer.

Mr Westergaard raised the alarm and police entered the house and shot the intruder.

Cartoons by Mr Westergaard were printed by Jyllands-Posten in 2005. He has received several death threats since then.

In 2006 the paper apologised for the 12 cartoons, which included one of Muhammed wearing a turban in the shape of a bomb, but other European media later reprinted them.

The BBC reports this triggered violent protests. Several Danish embassies were attacked and dozens of people killed in riots.

A price of $US1 million is reported to have been placed on Mr Westergaard's head.

Panic room activated

Mr Westergaard told Jyllands-Posten that the man entered his house by smashing a window with a hammer and shouted in broken English that he wanted to kill him.

He said he grabbed his granddaughter and run to a specially designed panic room where he raised the alarm.

Danish officials said the intruder was a Somali, 28, linked to the al-Shabab militia and to al-Qaeda in East Africa.

Police in Aarhus said he was shot in the knee and the shoulder after threatening officers who tried to arrest him. He was described as seriously hurt, but his life was not in danger.