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Autopsy: UK soldier died from cuts, stab wounds

Lee Rigby, 25, was first struck by a vehicle and then attacked by two men near his barracks, suffering multiple incised wounds

By Raphael Satter
Associated Press

LONDON — An autopsy shows that an off-duty soldier killed in a suspected Islamic extremist in London attack last week died from multiple cuts and stab wounds after he was hit by a car, police said Wednesday.

Lee Rigby, 25, was first struck by a blue Vauxhall Tigra and then attacked by two men near his barracks in southeast London's Woolwich area, police said.

Well wishers leave flowers at the scene where 25-year-old soldier of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Lee Rigby was attacked and killed, near Woolwich Barracks in London, Tuesday. (AP Image)
Well wishers leave flowers at the scene where 25-year-old soldier of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Lee Rigby was attacked and killed, near Woolwich Barracks in London, Tuesday. (AP Image)

Images that emerged in the attack's aftermath showed two men wielding knives and meat cleavers. Police said the autopsy showed Rigby died from "multiple incised wounds."

Both prime suspects were shot and wounded by police who arrived on the scene roughly 14 minutes after the killing. Suspect Michael Adebolajo, 28, remains hospitalized in stable condition. Michael Adebowale, 22, was discharged from a hospital Tuesday and is in police custody.

With a cause of death established, police said an inquest on Rigby's death will open Friday at Southwark Coroner's Court. In Britain, inquests are conducted to establish the circumstances surrounding unexpected or violent deaths.

Police asked members of the public to come forward with any information about the case and urged anyone with photos or videos related to the slaying to send them to police on a confidential basis.

London counterterrorism police officers handed out leaflets Wednesday seeking information from pedestrians and bus passengers in a quest for new information.

The killing of an off-duty soldier by suspected Islamic militants has raised racial enmities in many parts of England, with far-right groups mobilizing to protest.

British prison officers have been warned to be on the lookout after a hostage drama blamed on extremist Muslim inmates, British newspapers reported Wednesday.

An email circulated to high-security prisons and young offenders' institutes warned that Sunday's incident at Full Sutton detention facility in the northern England region of Yorkshire was linked to religious extremism and warned of an increased risk of attacks at other institutions, according to papers including The Yorkshire Post and The Times.

"Three Muslim prisoners took an officer hostage in an office. Their demands indicated they supported radical Islamist extremism," the letter was quoted as saying. "All staff are reminded to remain vigilant to the increased risk of potential attacks on prison officers inspired by these and last Wednesday's events."

The hostage-takers demands have not been disclosed. Britain's Ministry of Justice declined to comment on the email and would not spell out any demands made by the prisoners.

The English Defense League, a right-wing group with strong anti-Islam leanings, has mounted a series of protests in the wake of the killing, while Muslim community organizations have reported a surge in attacks and harassment. One mosque in the northern England town of Grimsby was firebombed, while the word "ISLAM" was daubed in big red letters across the Royal Air Force Bomber Command memorial in London's Green Park, near Buckingham Palace.

Two people have been charged over the arson attack. It's unclear who was responsible for the graffiti.

Hackers have also posted a purported list of English Defense League leaders and supporters to the Web. The list was at least partially genuine, according to English Defense League supporter Glen Warren, 32, whose name and phone number were among those made available online. He said the Anonymous collective of Internet rebels appears to have spliced together old information leaked by a disgruntled supporter with newer information gleaned from Facebook postings and media reports.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press

Copyright Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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