Woolwich attack: Islamic group condemns 'barbaric' murder of British soldier

JEDDAH (AFP) - The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Thursday condemned what it called the "brutal and barbaric" killing of a British soldier in London in what the authorities suspect was an act by Islamic militants.

A statement quoted the OIC's spokesman as reiterating the 57-member group's "strong and unwavering position against all forms of terror including hatred, violence and intolerance based on religion and faith".

"The brutal and barbaric killing... was a criminal and outrageous act by the individuals involved who clearly acted on their own," and "should in no way be construed or connected to Islam, as the Islamic faith preaches peace and rejects terror and killing of innocent people."

The spokesman also called "on all for restraint and expressed confidence that the tradition of tolerance in a multireligious and multiethnic society in Britain would not be allowed to be disturbed by this incident".

Two men attacked the soldier in broad daylight in the London borough of Woolwich on Wednesday afternoon and hacked him to death.

They did not flee, but remained until the police arrived, when they were shot and wounded in a confrontation.

In the interim, one of them spoke to passers-by, saying they killed the victim "because Muslims are dying daily by British soldiers".

The Muslim Council of Britain described the murder as "a truly barbaric act that has no basis in Islam".