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Irish Police Arrest Seven Over Cartoonist Plot

DUBLIN (Reuters) -- Irish police have arrested seven people in connection with an alleged plot to murder a Swedish cartoonist over a drawing depicting the Prophet Muhammad with the body of a dog.

The police said they had detained four men and three women in the southern counties of Waterford and Cork as part of an investigation into a "conspiracy to murder an individual in another jurisdiction."

They declined to give details of the suspects except to say their ages ranged from mid 20s to late 40s. But the national broadcaster RTE said the detainees were originally from Morocco and Yemen.

A security source confirmed local media reports that the alleged plot under investigation was to murder Lars Vilks, for whose killing an Iraqi group linked to Al-Qaeda offered a $100,000 reward in 2007.

"It is understood [the suspects] all have refugee status and are legally in the country," RTE added in a report on its website.

The police said they had been working closely on the case with law enforcement agencies in the United States and a number of European countries.