London Muslim Centre and Tower Hamlets Mayor condemn Woolwich attacks

Muslim leaders and politicians have condemned the brutal murder of a soldier in a suspected terrorist attack in Woolwich.

The man, believed to have been a soldier, was killed outside a military barracks yesterday afternoon, with one of the perpetrators filmed saying he carried out the attack because British soldiers killed Muslims abroad every day.

Two attackers, who were carrying knives, butchers’ cleavers and a gun, were shot by police at the scene, before being taken for treatment in a secure hospital.

Footage taken by passers-by showed one of the men making political statements.

“You think politicians are going to die?”, he said. “No, it’s going to be the average guy - like you - and your children.

“So get rid of them. Tell them to bring our troops back so you can all live in peace”.

But the London Muslim Centre, in Whitechapel Road, put out a statement condemning the attacks, which took place yesterday afternoon in broad daylight.

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“There is no justification for such a heinous crime; criminals and murderers do not represent any community or religion”, it read.

“We remain steadfast in opposing all forms of hate and terrorism. Our prayers and thoughts go out to the family of the victim.

“We ask all communities to remain united and work together in the face of this atrocious event.”

The incident triggered protests from far right group the English Defence League, with reports of bottles being thrown at police in the area of south east London.

Mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman said: “I utterly condemn this appalling act of violence in our neighbouring borough of Greenwich.

“This is a cowardly, disgraceful and truly shocking act and our thoughts are with the family of the victim.”