Police shot dead a gunman on Sunday whose attacks on a Copenhagen synagogue and an event promoting free speech may have been inspired by an attack on French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo last month, authorities said.
Denmark’s spy chief Jens Madsen said the gunman was known to the intelligence services prior to the shooting and probably acted alone.
Two civilians were killed and five police were wounded in the two separate attacks in the Danish capital on Saturday.
Krudttoenden Cafe, which is known for its jazz concerts, was hosting an event titled Art, Blasphemy and the Freedom of Expression when the shots were fired.
The event was organised by Lars Vilks, 68, a Swedish artist who has faced numerous threats for caricaturing Prophet Muhammad in 2007.
Police confirmed that he was the target of the attack.
Vilks was unhurt but a 55-year-old man was killed. A guard was later shot in the head outside Copenhagen’s biggest synagogue, where around 80 people were celebrating a confirmation. Two police officers were also wounded there.
Police shot dead the suspect early on Sunday after he opened fire on them near a railway station in the Noerrebro district, not far from the sites of the two attacks.
Denmark became a target of violent Islamists 10 years ago after the publication of cartoons lampooning the Prophet Mohammad, images which led to sometimes fatal protests in the Muslim world.
Vilks stirred controversy himself in 2007 with drawings depicting Mohammad’s head on a dog, triggering death threats. He has lived under Swedish police protection since 2010 and two years ago, an American woman was jailed for 10 years in the United States for plotting to kill him, Reuters reports.
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis firmly condemned the attacks in Copenhagen, pointing out that after January attacks in Paris, freedom of speech and religious differences are again targeted. In his opinion, tolerance to the religious faith of peoples should be respected. “Romania reaffirms support to the fight against terrorism and to the European measures of combating and discouraging any terrorism attempts,” reads a press release issued by the Presidential Administration in Bucharest.