Two 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 leg 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 a SWAT team with around 100 attendees still inside after multiple gunshots were heard.
FBI bomb squad robots were then sent into the area to check the area for any additional devices as the two bodies lay on the road.
A contest offering a top prize of $10,000 for the best caricature of the prophet was being held as the shootout unfolded.
The event had been condemned by critics as an attack on Islam, but the organizers insisted they were simply practicing free speech.
A police officer stands next to the pickup truck riddled with bullet holes outside the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas. Two suspects were shot dead after opening fire near the 'Draw Muhammad' event
A body was seen lying next to the suspect's vehicle as bomb squad robots scoured the area in the aftermath
Heavily armed police secure art work inside the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas, after two suspects opened fire at a r before they were shot dead
No one was allowed to leave as surrounding businesses, including a Wal-Mart and Taco Bell, were evacuated as authorities searched for two more devices.
Those inside started to sing patriotic songs, including the national anthem and God Bless America, and said a prayer after one woman pulled out an American flag form her bag.
Two suspects pulled up in a vehicle with with explosives, before getting out and firing at the officer, identified in local reports as Bruce Joiner. They were then killed by Garland Police officers.
Mr Joiner was taken to hospital in a stable condition and is expected to survive.
The attack unfolded shortly after Dutch member of parliament and leader of the far-right Party for Freedom, Geert Wilders, had delivered his keynote speech.
In 2009, he sparked controversy for showing a controversial film which linked the Koran to terrorism and has previously said the Netherlands is being taken over by a 'tsunami of Islamisation'.
Pamela Geller, the organizer, told CBS 11 from inside the building: 'I heard officers talking of possible explosions in backpacks and the car. There was talk of a grenade at the nearby Wal-Mart.'
The outspoken leader of Stop Islamisation of America then wrote on her personal website: This is a war. This is war on free speech. What are we going to do? Are we going to surrender to these monsters?'
The event was set up by the American Freedom Defense Initiative and had been described by opponents as an attack on Islam. The controversial group booked the center a little more than a week after Islamic militants in France killed 12 people at satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
The group spent $10,000 on additional security, aware of potential threats they may attract, while Garland Police officers were fully prepared to deal with issues.
A picture taken from inside the event just before the attack showed Geller giving a check to Bosch Fawtin. However it is not known whether he took first place.
Caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed have triggered violent protests in the past, including when the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten published 12 satirical cartoons in 2005, triggering deadly protests in some Muslim countries.