Stockholm: Kurt Westergaard, a Danish cartoonist whose caricature of the Prophet Muhammad sparked outrage around the Muslim world, has died at the age 86.
Reportedly, Westergaard passed away in his sleep following prolonged illness.
The illustrator was behind 12 drawings published by a conservative daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten under the headline ‘The Face of Mohammed’ which sparked particular anger.
Initially, the caricatures went almost unnoticed but after two weeks, a demonstration against them was held in Copenhagen and then ambassadors from Muslim countries in Denmark lodged a protest.
In February 2006, the anger escalated into anti-Danish violence across the Muslim world.
In addition, the violence linked to the cartoons culminated in a 2015 massacre that left dozen people dead at the Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly in Paris, which had reprinted the cartoons in 2012.
Westergaard had been working at Jyllands-Posten since the mid-1980s as an illustrator.
In 2010, local police caught a 28-year-old man armed with a knife in Westergaard's house, where he was planning to murder him.
In recent years of his life Westergaard, had to live under police protection at a secret address.