Shooting at Copenhagen synagogue

Published: Sunday 15th February 2015 by The News Editor

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A person has been shot in the head and two police officers injured in a second attack in Denmark today, hours after a gunman killed a man at a freedom-of-speech event, police have said.

A manhunt is under way for a terrorist gunman who opened fire at the event in Copenhagen, leaving a civilian dead and three police officers injured.

The shooter opened fire at the Krudttonden cafe gathering yesterday, which featured Swedish cartoonist and historian Lars Vilks, who depicted the Prophet Mohammed with the body of a dog in 2007.

Copenhagen police said it was too early to link the latest attack, which took place in the Krystalgade area of the city, to the earlier shooting.

The condition of the victims was unknown and the gunman fled from the scene, reportedly near a synagogue, on foot, a police spokesman added.

In the earlier shooting police said both Mr Vilks and French ambassador to Denmark Francois Zimeray, who was also at the event, were both unharmed. The three police officers were also “out of danger”, they said.

Danish prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt told reporters in the Danish capital last night: “We feel certain now that it’s a politically motivated attack, and thereby it is a terrorist attack.

“We take this situation extremely seriously. We are in a high alarm all over the country, and our main priority at this stage is to catch the perpetrators and make sure that we find them as soon as possible.”

Danish police, who initially said they were searching for two suspects, issued a picture of the main suspect this evening, taken on street cameras near to where the getaway car, a VW Polo, was later found dumped.

Prime Minister David Cameron led British condemnation of the attack. He said his thoughts were with the Danish people, tweeting: “I condemn the shootings in Copenhagen. Freespeech must always be protected.”

And Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond tweeted: “Appalled by shootings in Copenhagen. My thoughts are with those affected and their family and friends.”

Mr Zimeray tweeted from his @FranceDK account shortly after the shooting, writing: “Still alive in the room.”

The cafe in northern Copenhagen was hosting an event titled Art, Blasphemy And The Freedom Of Expression when the shots were fired, according to reports.

It comes little more than a month after the attack on the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris which left 12 people dead.

According to, the event was marking the anniversary of the fatwa against Salman Rushdie. As well as Mr Vilks, Inna Shevchenko from the feminist protest group Femen was also present.

It added that the Lars Vilks Committee, set up to support the cartoonist and freedom of expression, awarded its 2014 freedom prize to Charlie Hebdo last October.

Jodie Ginsberg, chief executive of Index on Censorship, condemned the attack, saying: “The use of violence on a gathering exploring the intersection of religious and artistic freedom should send shivers down our spines.

“The Charlie Hebdo murders inspired intensified public debate about free speech and its value. Many people who had previously given little thought to free speech were drawn for the first time into online discussions or attended events to help them get a better understanding of the issues. It would be terrible if violent acts such as that in Copenhagen shut down free speech even further.”

“The ability to express ourselves freely, to attend meetings and debates without fear of violence, is fundamental to a free society. Free speech must be protected.”

Published: Sunday 15th February 2015 by The News Editor

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