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26 May, 2013 15:12

Man arrested 'in relation to murder' of British soldier in Woolwich

Man arrested 'in relation to murder' of British soldier in Woolwich

British counter-terrorist officers have made another arrest in connection to the brutal murder of off-duty soldier Lee Rigby, detaining a 22-year-old London man, with reports of another stabbing attack in the infamous Woolwich district.

The man was arrested at 14:35 GMT on St Paul's Road near Highbury Corner in north London “on suspicion of conspiracy to murder by detectives supported by specialist firearms officers,” according to a statement posted on the Met Police website.

Five police officers in balaclavas were seen standing over the man until their uniformed colleagues arrived.

"The guy was on a push bike when the police came out of nowhere and wrestled him to the ground," a witness told the Guardian.

No shots were fired during the arrest, the police spokesman noted.

The suspect was taken to a police station in south London and currently remains in custody.

Earlier, police said they were pursuing a significant amount of CCTV, social media, forensic and intelligence evidence, and have “active lines of inquiry .”

No link between attacks

Meanwhile, a man in his twenties has been stabbed in Woolwich, just days after the murder of British military drummer Lee Rigby. 

The attack took place some 300 meters from the spot where flowers and cards have been left in memory of the late soldier. 

The victim of the assault is reported to have avoided life-threatening injuries.

The police, who were working at the scene, said there’s no link between the Sunday stabbing and Rigby’s brutal beheading.

People look at floral tributes left at the scene where Drummer Lee Rigby of the 2nd Battalion was killed outside Woolwich Barracks in London on May 24, 2013.(AFP Photo / Justin Tallis)

Around 500 police officers are investigating the drummer’s grisly murder, UK Home Secretary Theresa May told the BBC on Sunday.

On May 22, 25-year-old Rigby was initially struck by a car before being hacked to death in broad daylight by two men. The slaying is believed to have been in retaliation for UK military involvement in Muslim countries.

Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, the main suspects in the crime, were shot by police shortly after Rigby’s was killed, and are still in the hospital awaiting police questioning.

Scotland Yard has arrested six more people on suspicion of conspiracy to commit the murder of the soldier. 

Two men, aged 24 and 28, were arrested in south-east London on Saturday, while a 21-year-old male was detained in the street in Charlton Lane, Greenwich. All three have been released on bail on Sunday.

A 29-year-old, who was held during the week, has been released on bail, on May 25. While two women aged 29 and 31 have been set free without charge after being arrested on Thursday.