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Scuffles in UK amid rival soldier death protests

June 1, 2013

LONDON (AP) — Far-right groups and antifascists have been scuffling in London during rival demonstrations to mark the killing of British soldier Lee Rigby 10 days ago.

Police kept about 150 British National Party supporters carrying anti-Islam placards apart from a larger group of anti-racist demonstrators outside Parliament after the two sides traded insults and occasional blows.

Police arrested several people after the antifascists refused to move to let the other group pass.

Smaller right-wing protests are being held in other British cities, but the turnout is reportedly far short of the show of strength organizers had hoped for.

Police, politicians and activists have reported a rise in anti-Muslim incidents since Rigby was hacked to death on May 22 by two men espousing militant Islam.

On Friday, Rigby’s family released a plea for peace, saying “Lee would not want people to use his name as an excuse to carry out attacks against others.”

The two prime suspects are in custody and several others have been arrested and questioned in connection with the attack.

Update hourly