War memorials vandalised
Vandals have attacked two of Britain’s most celebrated war memorials, apparently daubing them with the word “Islam” and covering over inscriptions.
By Hayley Dixon
4:24PM BST 27 May 2013
The RAF Bomber Command War Memorial and the Animals in War Memorial, both in central London, were covered in red paint.
The Metropolitan Police have not yet made any arrests, so the motivation behind the damage remains unclear.
The words written on the memorials have been covered up with plastic sheets after being discovered in the early hours of the morning, but it is believed that "Islam" has been written on each of them.
The Bomber Command Memorial, which was unveiled by the Queen last summer, remembers the sacrifice and bravery of the 55,573 RAF crew who lost their lives in the Second World War.
The £2million Animals in War Memorial, which was funded by donations, is a tribute to all the animals that served, suffered and died alongside allied forces in the 20th Century.
The monument was unveiled by the Princess Royal in November 2004 - the 90th anniversary of the start of World War I.
A spokesman for the Scotland Yard said: "At 5am this morning police discovered graffiti on both the RAF Bomber Command War Memorial in Green Park and the Animals in War Memorial on Park Lane.
"Royal Parks' officers and Westminster police are investigating. There have been no arrests at present."
The incidents are being treated as criminal damage, police added.
The news emerged as around 1,000 English Defence League (EDL) demonstrators marched through Admiralty Arch and onto Parliament Square.
The protesters then made their way along Whitehall before taking a position on the pavement across the road from Downing Street.
A much smaller group of anti-fascist demonstrators gathered opposite them holding an "EDL Racists" banner.
Both sides traded insults but were kept apart by officers and barriers. The EDL supporters chanted: "We hate Cameron."
They were escorted by Metropolitan Police officers and vans, while a force helicopter followed overhead.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said Whitehall was closed to traffic because of "a number of demonstrations".
There have been increasing tensions since the killing of Drummer Lee Rigby by two Islamist extremists last week, and a number of mosques have been attacked.
Last night the Grimsby Islamic Cultural Centre was attacked with petrol bombs despite extra police patrols in the area after a similar attack three days ago.
Mosque chairman Diler Gharib was inside the mosque with a young family when it was attacked. Two people were arrested nearby.