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Garland shooting: Police search for explosives in suspects' car

The suspects' car may contain explosives Credit: Reuters

Bomb squad experts are searching for explosives in the car of two gunmen who were shot dead after opening fire on a security officer outside a contest for cartoon depictions of the Prophet Muhammad.

Spokesman Joe Harn with the Garland Police Department said the bomb squad was searching the vehicle outside the Curtis Culwell Center as a "precaution."

He added that the bodies of the two gunmen, who are yet to be identified, have not yet been removed from the scene.

"Because of the situation of what was going on today and the history of what we’ve been told has happened at other events like this, we are considering their car possibly contains a bomb.”


Garland shooting: Security guard's injuries 'not life-threatening'

Attendees at the Muhammad event have been evacuated in school buses Credit: Reuters

The injuries suffered by the security guard during the Muhammad art event shooting in Garland are not life-threatening, the city authorities have confirmed.

The guard was shot when two men opened fire outside the Curtis Culwell Center where the event was coming to an end around 7pm. Police officers then shot both men dead.

Writing on its Facebook page, the City of Garland described how the shooting unfolded.

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Controversial politician Geert Wilders at Muhammad cartoon event

Geert Wilders had just finished making a speech at the event Credit: Reuters

Dutch politician Geert Wilders had just finished making a speech at the Muhammad cartoon event in Texas moments before the shooting occurred.

Well-know for his controversial views on Islam, Wilders spoke about the incident via his Twitter account:

The event was organised by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, which has previously campaigned against the building of an Islamic centre near the World Trade Center site in New York.

The AFDI's president, Pamela Geller, responded to the shooting, calling the attacker's "monsters".

Writing on the organisations' Facebook page, she said: "This is a war. This is war on free speech. What are we going to do? Are we going to surrender to these monsters?

"Two men with rifles and backpacks attacked police outside our event. A cop was shot; his injuries are not life-threatening, thank Gd. Please keep him in your prayers."

Three reported shot at Muhammad cartoon contest

Two armed men who opened fire on a security officer outside a controversial US contest for cartoon depictions of the Prophet Muhammad have been killed.

Police told attendees about the shooting outside the building Credit: Reuters

A police Swat team member told the event in Garland, Texas, that a security guard and two suspects had been shot although it was not clear if the shootings were connected to the event.

Police then put the Curtis Culwell Center on lockdown and told participants not to leave.

Attendees were taken to another room, and the authorities said later that the group would be moved to a nearby school.

The New York-based American Defense Initiative was staging the competition which would award $10,000 for the best cartoon depicting Muhammad.

Cartoons of the prophet are deemed offensive to many Muslims and have provoked previous attacks and protests.

In 2006 there were demonstrations against Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten when it published cartoons satirising the Prophet Muhammad.

And in January this year two Islamist gunmen sparked worldwide revulsion when they murdered 12 people at the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which had published similar cartoons.

Labour calls on Tories to 'come clean' over Lynton Crosby

Lynton Crosby is at the forefront of the Tory election campaign Credit: PA Wire

Labour has called on the prime minister to "come clean" over links between a lobbying firm run by the Conservatives' campaign guru Lynton Crosby and the private healthcare industry.

The Independent has obtained a document produced in 2010 by Crosby's lobbying firm which the newspaper says proposed targeting key UK Government figures, including David Cameron, to enhance the "size, acceptability and profitability of the private healthcare market".

Responding to the links, shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said:

David Cameron has serious questions to answer today. It looks increasingly like Lynton Crosby's lobbying firm has been at the forefront of a drive to expand private healthcare interests in the NHS.

David Cameron must now come clean on the impact Lynton Crosby's business interests have on Tory policy.

– Andy Burnham


Election should have been a 'walkover' for Tories

The 2015 General election should have been a 'walkover' for the Conservatives, according to one of its most senior MPs.

Ken Clarke doesn't think a second election would remove a hung parliament Credit: PA

Ken Clarke said the poll on Thursday ought to have seen a landslide similar to the Thatcher victory in 1987 which was fuelled by economic recovery, but public cynicism was preventing such a result.

"We have an economy that is doing well, has a long way to go and we took over a catastrophe for which the Labour Party are still blamed by many people," Mr Clarke told The Guardian.

"Now it's the cynicism and detachment of the population, the fashionable hostility to the political class and the somewhat larger number of people who are refusing to vote at all which is stopping that happening."

He added that a second election may not be enough to break the political deadlock if Thursday's vote does not produce a decisive result

"You can get out of a hung parliament by having a second election but, not surprisingly, the public tends to return a parliament which looks rather like the first one," the former chancellor told The Guardian.

"You won't necessarily find that if you hold it within a few months you will get a different result from the first one, so people need to make their mind up this time."

Royal gun salutes to celebrate new princess

Gun salutes in the UK are customary for the birth of every prince or princess Credit: PA Wire

Royal gun salutes will be fired today to mark the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's baby princess.

The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery will fire 41 volleys in Hyde Park to coincide with the Honourable Artillery Company's 62-gun salute at the Tower of London - an extra 21 for the City of London.

The soldiers, horses and guns of the King's Troop will ride out in procession from their forward mounting base in Wellington Barracks through London and to the north of Hyde Park to fire the volleys.

They will be accompanied by music from the Royal Artillery Band and their 71 horses will pull six First World War-era Ordnance Quick Fire 13-pounder field guns.

The HAC will leave their barracks at Armoury House pulling three Ceremonial 105mm Light Guns with their liveried Pinzgauer vehicles and drive through the City with an escort to the Tower of London.

The weapons will be fired from Gun Wharf, overlooking HMS Belfast.

Runway damage hits Nepal's relief effort

Large cargo planes have damaged the airport in Kathmandu Credit: Reuters

Runway damage has forced authorities in Nepal to close the main airport to large aircraft delivering aid to millions of people following last week's earthquake.

Bigger planes had been banned because the runway was deteriorating as the huge relief effort began after the quake which has so far claimed 7,057 lives.

Birendra Shrestha, the manager of Tribhuwan International Airport, located on the outskirts of Kathmandu, said the runway was built to handle only medium-size jets and not the large military and cargo planes that have been flying to the airport.

Despite this setback, the UN coordinator for Nepal, Jamie McGoldrick, said the bottlenecks in aid delivery were slowly disappearing.

"I think the problem is there, but it's actually diminishing," he said, adding the Nepalese government eased customs and other bureaucratic hurdles on humanitarian aid following complaints from the UN.

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