UK: Anti-soldier protest condemned

UK: Anti-soldier protest condemned

Defence minister condemned as "insulting" Tuesday a Muslim protest against a parade for British soldiers returning from Iraq.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown also voiced disappointment at the protest, in which two people were arrested, marring the rally to welcome home troops withdrawing from southern Iraq.

The protesters carried placards with slogans including "Anglian Soldiers: Butchers of Basra", "Anglian Soldiers: cowards, killers, extremists" and "British government terrorist government."

"The whole country is proud of our brave servicemen and women who serve their country with great distinction and courage," said Brown in a statement after the protest in Luton, north of London.

"It is therefore disappointing that a tiny minority tried, but ultimately failed, to disrupt today?s event. We should all be proud of the outstanding work our armed forces do," he said.

Defence Secretary John Hutton was more forceful in criticising the protests against the parade to welcome home the 2nd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, known as The Poachers.

"I am grateful to the thousands of people from all walks of life that turned out in Luton today to offer their support and gratitude for the incredible job they do," he said.

"I can only condemn the tiny minority who used this opportunity to make, whatever their personal views, utterly ridiculous and insulting comments to these brave men and women."


Source: AFP (English)

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