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Police close off a road close to the scene were Lee Rigby was murdered. Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Woolwich victim named by UK Ministry of Defence

The soldier killed in a machete attack on a London street has been named as Drummer Lee Rigby.

THE BRITISH SOLDIER who was killed in a machete attack on the streets of South London yesterday has been named as Lee Rigby of the 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.

Rigby, aged 25, was from Manchester and leaves behind a two-year-old son. In a statement from The Ministry of Defence, Rigby is described as an “extremely popular and witty soldier”.

Drummer Rigby was a larger than life personality within the Corps of Drums and was well known, liked and respected across the Second Fusiliers. He was a passionate and lifelong Manchester United fan.

Rigby joined the army in 2006 and had served in Afghanistan. However, his first military posting was as a machine gunner in Cyprus where the battalion was serving as the resident infantry battalion in Dhekelia.

He returned to the UK in 2008 and was placed on duty outside the royal palaces as part of the battalion’s public duties commitment.

In 2009, he was sent to the Helmand province, Afghanistan, where he served as a member of the Fire Support Group at Patrol Base Woqab. On returning to the UK he completed a second tour of public duties and then moved with the battalion to Celle, Germany.

Rigby took up a recruiting post in London in 2011, where he also assisted with duties at the regimental headquarters in the Tower of London.

The statement from the Ministry of Defence states that Rigby was “an integral member of the Corps of Drums throughout the battalion’s time on public duties”.

The victim’s name was announced by the Ministry of Defence pending formal police identification.

“Deeply shocking”

Speaking outside 10 Downing Street today, Prime Minister David Cameron said the images from the attack in the newspapers and on the television were “deeply shocking”.

He added that these types of attacks would not be tolerated, stating:

The people who did this were trying to divide us. They should know something like this will only bring us together.

“We have lost a brave soldier,” said Cameron, adding that his thoughts were with the victim and his family.

He said a police investigation was underway, so there was a limit to what he could say. He said “this country will be resolute in its stand against violent extremism and terrorism. We will never give into terror or terrorism in any of its forms”.

The attackers, who are now in custody, used knives and a meat cleaver to attack Rigby. They carried out the attack a few hundred metres from the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, southeast London, then delivered an Islamist tirade to passers-by. The two men were shot by police at the scene and remain under arrest in hospital – one in a serious condition.

Emergency meetings after soldier ‘decapitated’ in London machete attack>

Security increased at London barracks after suspected terrorist attack on soldier>

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