On the afternoon of 22 May 2013, a British Army soldier, Drummer (Private) Lee Rigby of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, was attacked and killed by two men near the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, southeast London, in what has been described as an Islamic terrorist attack.
Rigby was off duty and walking along Wellington Street when he was attacked. Two men ran him down with a car, then used knives and a cleaver to stab and hack him to death. The men dragged Rigby’s body into the road. The men remained at the scene until police arrived. They told passers-by that they had killed a soldier to avenge the killing of Muslims by the British military Unarmed police arrived at the scene nine minutes after an emergency call was received and set up a cordon. Armed police officers arrived five minutes later. The assailants, armed with a gun and cleaver, charged at the police, who fired shots that wounded them both. They were apprehended and taken to separate hospitals Both are British of Nigerian descent who were raised as Christians and converted to Islam.
The attack was condemned by political and Muslim leaders in the United Kingdom and in the worldwide press. In the aftermath, there was an increase in anti-Muslim attacks across the UK