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Tears for young soldier dad hacked to death by Islamists

The family of the soldier hacked to death by Islamic extremists paid tribute last night to "a loving son, husband, father, brother and uncle", adding that he always wanted to be in the army and "live life and enjoy himself".

Drummer Lee Rigby (25) – who had a two-year-old son – was killed by two men on the streets of Woolwich south east London on Wednesday.

A total of four people including the two men shot by police have now been arrested in connection with the savage attack.

BLOODIED

Police said a man and a woman, both 29, were arrested yesterday on suspicion of conspiracy to murder and are being questioned at a police station in south London.

The two men who were shot, aged 22 and 28, have been arrested on suspicion of murder and remain under guard in hospital in a stable condition.

They had been known to security services before the daylight attack, security sources said. One of the assailants, filmed calmly justifying the killing as he stood by the body holding a knife and meat cleaver in bloodied hands, was named by acquaintances as 28-year-old Londoner Michael Adebolajo – a British-born convert to Islam.

The second person hospitalised following the attack has not yet been identified.

Last night the family of Drummer Rigby issued the following tribute: "Lee was lovely. He would do anything for anybody, he always looked after his sisters and always protected them. He took a 'big brother' role with everyone.

"All he wanted to do from when he was a little boy, was be in the army. He wanted to live life and enjoy himself. His family meant everything to him. He was a loving son, husband, father, brother, and uncle, and a friend to many.

"We ask that our privacy be respected at this difficult time."

Six residential addresses were being searched yesterday as part of the investigation, three in south London, one in east London, one in north London and one in Lincolnshire.

Officers have recovered a number of items from the murder scene and continue to appeal for witnesses to get in touch, and send in footage and photographs of what happened.

Last night US President Barack Obama issued a statement to say: "I condemn in the strongest terms the appalling attack. "The United States stands resolute with the United Kingdom, our ally and friend, against violent extremism and terror."

SCHOOL

Earlier tributes were paid to Drummer Rigby, who came from Crumpsall, Manchester.

He was from 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, and was attached to the Regimental Recruiting Team in London.

Sergeant Barry Ward said he was "a loving father" to his two-year-old son Jack, and had "a very bubbly character".

A steady stream of relatives and friends visited the house throughout the day to support the family.

Drummer Rigby was brutally murdered by two attackers who were British and of Nigerian descent.

The pair, who were shot by police, apparently shouted "Allah Akhbar" as they struck.

It is believed that Drummer Rigby was run over and then hacked to death, yards from a primary school.

hnews@herald.ie


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