Two heavily armed suspects believed to be carrying explosives have been shot dead after opening fire outside an anti-Muslim art exhibition in Dallas.
The pair were gunned down after shooting a security guard in the ankle outside the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas, during the controversial event where caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad were being displayed.
The building and surrounding area was placed on lockdown by SWAT teams with around 100 attendees still inside after multiple gunshots were heard.
FBI bomb squad robots were then sent in to check the suspect’s vehicle, as the two bodies lay on the road beside it, with police fearing there could be ‘incendiary devices inside’. Residents later heard an ‘explosion’, suggesting a bomb was detonated by law enforcement on site.
A contest offering a top prize of $10,000 for the best portrayal of the prophet was just minutes from finishing when the shootout unfolded.
The event had been condemned by critics as an attack on Islam, but the organizers insisted they were exercising free speech.