Men tried to behead UK soldier - claims

2013-05-22 20:10

London - British police shot and wounded two men after a man thought to be a serving soldier was killed outside a London barracks, in an attack Prime Minister David Cameron called "truly shocking".

In a dramatic move, the government's emergency response committee was being summoned following the killing which some eyewitness reports suggested was an attempted beheading using machete-like knives.

Some early reports suggested the attack might be Islamist-related, although there was no official confirmation.

The incident took place in broad daylight in a street around 200m from the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, a district of southeast London.

Police were called at 14:20 (13:20 GMT) to reports of one man being assaulted by two others.

"A number of weapons were reportedly being used in the attack, and this included reports of a firearm," said police commander Simon Letchford.

Local police officers, then firearms officers arrived on the scene where they found a man who was later pronounced dead.

"Two men, who we believe from early reports to have been carrying weapons, were shot by police. They were taken to separate London hospitals, they are receiving treatment for their injuries," Letchford said.

He said there would be a heightened police presence in the area and urged locals to remain calm.

Cameron said on Twitter: "The killing in Woolwich is truly shocking."

He added that he had asked Home Secretary Theresa May, Britain's interior minister, to chair a meeting of Cobra, the government's emergency civil contingencies committee.

Eyewitness pictures showed an air ambulance landing in the road and three bodies lying on the ground with dozens of onlookers observing the scene after the police arrived.

Nick Raynsford, the member of parliament for Woolwich and Greenwich, said his understanding was that the man found dead was a serving soldier.

He said he had spoken to local borough police commander Richard Wood, and a lieutenant colonel at the Woolwich army barracks.

"One individual is dead, two others are seriously injured and in hospital," he said.

"We think a serving soldier was the victim. We don't know the circumstances surrounding the incident.


"We do know a number of weapons have been seized. They include a gun, various knives, and a machete, apparently.

"The police clearly had to take action in order to try and arrest these individuals."

The Ministry of Defence said it was urgently investigating reports that the dead man was a soldier.

Ed Miliband, leader of the opposition Labour Party, said on Twitter: "Shocked by appalling events in Woolwich. Whole country will be horrified by what has happened."

The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic shooting events were staged at a temporary venue at the Royal Artillery.

The barracks houses a number of the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery - which drew former prime minister Margaret Thatcher's coffin to her funeral last month - and independent companies of the Grenadier and Coldstream Guards.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission, which is called in whenever firearms officers discharge their weapons, said it was investigating.

"IPCC investigators have been deployed to the scene and to the post-incident process," a spokesperson said.

  • Michael Savage - 2013-05-22 20:38

    The irony is that these religious bigots believe that they are morally superior, while acting like barbarians. John Lennon called it, when he imagined no religion. Ah what a wonderful world this would be.

      OldNick - 2013-05-22 21:32

      John Lennon, now there was a true messiah.

      OldNick - 2013-05-22 22:07

      Seriously,thumbs down for John Lennon being a true messiah, are you brain damaged?

      Graham du Plessis - 2013-05-22 22:07

      @Sean - I live a few kms from the incident. These guys were not muslims - they were extremists. I think they were converts judging from their accents on the BBC News. For some reason several converts have been radicalised over the last few years. Richard Reid the white, British "shoe bomber" is one such example. RIP soldier. I hope my community finds peace..

      Themba Mazibuko - 2013-05-23 07:51

      Graham I agree they are islamists - to call the muslims is a bad generalization.

  • Avremel Niselow - 2013-05-22 20:46

    This is a video of one of the attackers.

      Ahava Shapiro - 2013-05-22 20:58

      Thanks for the link.

      Avremel Niselow - 2013-05-22 21:03


      Themba Mazibuko - 2013-05-23 07:44


  • Ted Muusha - 2013-05-22 20:51

    This type of violence happens daily in Palestine.

      Papapipo Mzapi - 2013-05-22 21:14

      oh and what about in syria where they eat hearts

      Stephen Murphy - 2013-05-22 21:17

      Ted, go to bed.

      OldNick - 2013-05-22 21:31

      And your point is what?

      Omnivore - 2013-05-22 21:51

      @ Ted-- Oh... and your point is?

      Andrew Wilson - 2013-05-22 21:58

      Really? I don't think so, Ted. I am no fan of the way Israel treats Palestinians as it seems to be Group Areas and apartheid all over again. If your point is that bad things happen elsewhere so that makes running down and attempting to behead an off-duty, unarmed soldier okay, then I question your sanity. Doing this will not, in any shape or form, influence UK government policy, if anything it will gain sympathy for Israel if this is what Palestinian supporters support.

      Jean Bence - 2013-05-22 22:41

      People cut off heads daily in Palestine? You must be smoking some strong stuff.

      renelaunspach.enomoto - 2013-05-23 09:09

      that is there not Britain... the british are sophisticated not barbaric and this is from a south African!!!!

  • Joshua van Vuren - 2013-05-22 20:57

    You Brits, this is not a terrorist attack, its a Muslim Jehad religion on religion attack-Muslim on Christian.

      Happy Tails - 2013-05-22 20:59

      which is a form of terrorism.

      Omnivore - 2013-05-22 21:53

      A perfect society would contain neither Muslims or Christians. :)

      Iwance Wasdere - 2013-05-23 08:32

      How do you know the soldier was a Christian?

  • Michael Ian Wright - 2013-05-22 21:31

    Britain really seems to be gaining so much from cultural enrichment.

  • Sam Mayihlome - 2013-05-22 21:35

    Christians do not give any crackers what Muslims do when worshiping but Muslims seem to have a problem with Christians why? if we all accept each other all of these attrocities will stop.

      Jane Longmuir - 2013-05-22 21:46

      Unfortunately Sam, I don't think that will make any difference :(

      Ted Muusha - 2013-05-22 22:22

      On a recent journey to the middle east I was advised to leave my bible behind. I was not even going to Meccaland.

  • Elliz Edd - 2013-05-22 21:39

    Blame lies squarely at the feet of the ANC and the majority that voted them into power.

      Ted Muusha - 2013-05-22 22:18

      When you campaign, always know one thing: People from any background usually listen to those who talk sense.

      Joe Soapie - 2013-05-23 07:46

      Yeah, I can see how it's the ANC's fault that a man was beheaded in the UK. lol.

  • Jeremy Forbes - 2013-05-22 21:54

    Crime is out of control in the UK, they should all emigrate, it is the only sensible thing to do rather than just waiting to be killed by these jihadis.

      Tom Heath - 2013-05-22 22:27

      Still not half as close as the crime in s.a

  • Omnivore - 2013-05-22 22:01

    Somalians apparently. Eyewitness account from an Englishman in the land from whence the English language hails. 'People were asking whyyy whyyy they were just saying we've had enough! They looked like they were on sutn! Then they start waving a recolver 'Then boydem turn up!! Woolwich feds didnt want it... They had to wait for armed response.. Helicopters everyting... 'Then thats how u know they were on sutn cos they actually went for armed feds with just two machete and an old rusty lookin revolver 'The first guy goes for the female fed with the machete and she not even ramping she took man out like robocop never seen nutn like it 'Then the next breda try buss off the rusty 45 and it just backfires and blows mans finger clean off... Feds didnt pet to just take him out!! 'These times i was just going to the shop for some fruit and veg and i see all that!'

      Ian Harrison - 2013-05-23 07:39

      I hope you weren't schooled in England if that is how you speak. Attach a translation next time.

      Avremel Niselow - 2013-05-23 08:21

      He's quoting the interviewee.

      Iwance Wasdere - 2013-05-23 08:33

      Was that English?

  • Oamis Lacad Ariedlac - 2013-05-22 22:12

    Andreis Brevik predicted that western european countries embracing multi-culturalism would suffer the effects of radical fundamental islamisation on their very footsteps.......we've seen it in Denmark with the murder of the cartoonist who drew the prophet Mohamed, in France with a muslim man murdering a jewish father and his children, in the UK with the bus bombers....reality is western europe is being invaded by muslim immigrants who come to Europe to impose their religion on the unsuspecting populace.....Already, the most popular name in England is not John, Peter or Luke but Mohamed. Maybe time for a crusade to liberate their own land !!!

  • Jean Bence - 2013-05-22 22:36

    There is no place in society for these animals. They are human abortions. I fail to understand why the world allows these pieces of crap to live. Take them to a dump site shoot them in the head and be done with it.

  • Szymon Arya Przemyslaw Welgus - 2013-05-22 22:45

    The men are Muslims. This is an Islamist attack, no official confirmation; what utter crap.

  • Rob Martin - 2013-05-23 08:08

    We are desensitized to this, the British are shocked in Africa this happens and it hardly hits the news.

      Buti Malaza - 2013-05-23 09:32

      They want us to hate Islam and than they can justify their attack on Syria, Iraq, Lybia, Lebanon(soon), Iran( thereafter)...... It is all desensitization,there is no other reason that we could sit here and watch these inhumanities go on

  • Alan Kennedy - 2013-05-23 10:01

    Pity for them they weren't taken out - they could have been in heaven surrounded by [probably young] virgins by now

  • pages:
  • 1