House of Swedish Mohammad cartoonist attacked

STOCKHOLM Sat May 15, 2010 2:40pm BST

Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks poses before an interview with Reuters in Stockholm March 10, 2010. REUTERS/Bob Strong

Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks poses before an interview with Reuters in Stockholm March 10, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Bob Strong

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STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who angered Muslims by portraying the Prophet Mohammad as a dog, has suffered a failed arson attack on his house, but was not home when it happened, the artist and police said Saturday.

Vilks told Reuters that people smashed windows at his house in the small town of Nynashamnsvage in southwest Sweden and tried to light petrol that they threw inside. But the attack resulted only in small damage in the kitchen and on the facade.

"Probably I can't live there any more," said Vilks, who depicted the Prophet Mohammad with the body of a dog in 2007 and says he aims furthering freedom of expression. Most Muslims consider any depiction of the founder of Islam as offensive.

Vilks said bottles with petrol were found at the scene.

"The case is being handled as arson," police of the southwestern Skane district said in a statement.

Earlier this week, Vilks was assaulted by a man during a lecture after he started showing a video about homosexuality and religion, particularly Islam.

In March an American who called herself "JihadJane," was charged with plotting to kill the Swede and using the Internet to enlist co-conspirators.

In January, a Somali man was indicted for terrorism and attempted murder for breaking into the home of Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard and threatening him with an axe.

A cartoon by Westergaard in 2005 which depicted the Prophet Mohammad with a turban shaped like a bomb sparked outrage across the Muslim world, with at least 50 people killed in riots in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

(Reporting by Patrick Lannin; Editing by Reed Stevenson)

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