Wednesday October 23, 2019
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2 suspects shot dead after gunfire outside Prophet Muhammad cartoon exhibition


By NewsGram Staff Writer

On Sunday, US police shot two outraged gunmen outside a provocative conference on cartoons depicting the imagery of Prophet Muhammad in the Dallas suburb of Garland.

Police killed the two gunmen and managed to evacuate the place without having any casualties. However, a security guard was injured.

Police also searched the gunmen’s car for any bomb.

The event was organized by a Islamic group and contests were arranged to draw the cartoons of the Prophet, that hoisted the rage of certain non-social elements.

The event was also attended by Dutch anti-Islamic politician, Geert Wilders, who later tweeted that the shots had been fired and he had safely left the building.

According to Garland Police Department spokesman Joe Harn, the reason for intrusion and shooting was not clear. He further added that there had not been any credible threats in advance of the event.

A news agency in a word with one eyewitness reported that around 20 shots were fired from a car driving past the conference centre, which was followed by two individual shots.

“As today’s Muhammad Art Exhibit event at the Curtis Culwell Center was coming to an end, two males drove up to the front of the building in a car,” the City of Garland government said.

“Both males were armed and began shooting at a Garland ISD (Independent School District) security officer. Garland Police officers engaged the gunmen, who were both shot and killed.”

Police suspected that gunmen’s vehicle could contain some provocative substance like a bomb. Therefore, the bomb squad was called at the scene.

The conference was attended by more than 200 people who were moved to the back of the building before being evacuated using school buses, stated police.

The event was controversial and provocative that jolted the very foundation of different terrorists organizations, said BBC’s Alastair Leithead.

Event was organized by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), which has campaigned against the building of an Islamic centre near the World Trade Center site in New York.

AFDI is operated by controversial blogger and activist Pamela Geller. It is also considered as an anti-Muslim group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights group.

Commenting upon the incident, Geller told a news agency that the reason for conducting the contest was to have a free speech. The event also included a $10,000 (£6,600) prize for a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad.

Earlier this year, a fund raising event was organized by the same conference centre in Garland to build a local Islamic centre, which was besieged by the opponents. Depicting Prophet Muhammad through a cartoon is considered as an offence by many Muslims.

A similar incident happened in January this year when 12 people were murdered by two Islamist gunmen at the French magazine Charlie Hebdo that published similar cartoons.

Next Story

3 Billion Fewer Birds in United States, Canada and Mexico than 1970

A report in the journal Science says there are 3 billion fewer birds in the United States, Canada and Mexico than 1970 — a 29% drop

Birds, United States, Canada
FILE - A western meadowlark sings in the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Commerce City, Colo., April 14, 2019. According to a study, there are 3 billion fewer wild birds in North America than in 1970. VOA

If the skies above North America seem quieter, it’s because of the massive drop in the bird population in the past 50 years. Birds.

A report in the journal Science says there are 3 billion fewer birds in the United States, Canada and Mexico than 1970 — a 29% drop.

Conservationists call it a widespread ecological crisis.

“One of the scary things about the results is that it is happening right under our eyes. We might not even notice it until it is too late,” lead author of the study Kenneth Rosenberg of Cornell University says.

Birds, United States, Canada

If the skies above North America seem quieter, it’s because of the massive drop in the bird population in the past 50 years. Pixabay

More than 90% of the losses were among 12 species with the common house sparrow at the top of the list.

The experts blame the disappearance of natural meadows and grasslands in favor of farmland for the drop.

They also say pesticides are killing the insects that many birds use for food.

“We see fields of corn and other crops right up to the horizon. Everything is sanitized and mechanized. There’s no room left for birds, fauna, and nature,” Rosenberg said.

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The study also cites free-roaming domestic cats and birds slamming into windows that reflect the sky.

But the study says the duck and goose population has actually grown since 1970 because of less hunting and more protective measures.

Ornithologists say the drop in bird populations can be reversed by simple measures including keeping pet cats inside, window treatments that can prevent birds flying into them, and avoiding pesticides and insecticides. (VOA)