A man was hacked to death in a street near an army barracks in London on Wednesday in what Prime Minister David Cameron said appeared to be a politically motivated attack.
The victim was a British soldier killed in broad daylight by unidentified assailants who tried to behead him while shouting "God is greatest" in Arabic, media reports said.
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Soon after the attack, two men carrying weapons were shot and wounded by police.
One of the attackers talks to bystander
"It is the most appalling crime," Cameron said in Paris. "The police are urgently seeking the full facts about this case but there are strong indications that it is a terrorist incident."
Video footage filmed by an onlooker and broadcast by Britain's ITV news channel showed a man with hands covered in blood and holding a bloodied knife.
According to the Daily Telegraph, an eye witness said the attackers had three knives, including a machete, and said "They seemed to be encouraging people to take photos and waited there until police arrived as if they wanted a fight. They encouraged bystanders to take photographs."
Another eye witness said the attackers prayed as if it were a ritual sacrifice.
The murder scene (Photo: AFP)
Later a video was broadcast by the ITV News channel showing a man with bloodied hands, apparently one of the attackers, holding a knife and a machete.
According to the Daily Telegraph, he can be heard saying in a London accent: "I apologize that women had to witness that, but in our lands our women have to see the same thing.
The video broadcast in London (Photo: Reuters)
“You people will never be safe. Remove your Government, they don’t care about you.”
According to the report, he then walked off, still carrying his weapons, back towards the body of the victim who was lying in the middle of the road.
London police on murder (Video: Reuters)
In other parts of the video, according to the Daily Telegraph too shocking to show, it is claimed he said: “This British soldier is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”
A British government official who spoke only on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the investigation said the details that had emerged were indicative of a "terrorist-motivated attack."
The attack on London's map
Police confirmed that one man was found dead at the scene and that two men were shot by police and taken to separate London hospitals. One of them is in serious condition, according to London Ambulance Service.
Live television images of the scene showed a trail of blood staining a pavement, cordoned off streets and crime scene investigators marking the scene.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission, which is called in when officers are involved in shootings, confirmed that it was investigating the incident, which took place near the Royal Artillery Barracks.
The barracks – which house a number of the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery and independent companies of the Grenadier and Coldstream Guards – were the site of shooting events during the 2012 London Olympics.
AP, Reuters contributed to this report
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