Returning soldiers heckled by protesters

Protesters heckled soldiers and brandished placards opposing the war in Afghanistan during a homecoming parade for troops today.

A group of predominantly Muslim protesters gathered in Barking town centre, in east London, as members of the 1st Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment marched through the streets.

One witness said: "There were about 25 to 50 Muslim protesters carrying placards with things like 'Muslims Against Crusades' and 'British Soldiers Go To Hell'.

"Then there was a counter-protest of about 100 guys barracking them."

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said two people had been arrested for public order offences.

Barking and Dagenham councillor Liam Smith said the march was unaffected by the protest.

He said: "I'm glad the actions of a vocal minority failed to spoil what was a proud day in the borough's history and one we will remember for all the right reasons in years to come.

"The Royal Anglians are our local regiment. We are proud of them and the difficult and dangerous job they do, and as today's turnout for the parade showed, so are the people of Barking and Dagenham."