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Manchester mayor slams EDL protest in city centre

By Scott D'Arcy

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham has hit out at protesters who descended on central Manchester to oppose Islamist terrorism.

Thousands gathered in the city almost three weeks since suicide bomber Salman Abedi killed 22 people and injured more than 200 at an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena.

The event was organised by former leader of the English Defence League (EDL) Tommy Robinson for a movement called UK Against Hate and it drew a counter-demonstration.

Greater Manchester Police said 400 officers were deployed to police the protest and officers had made eight arrests for public order offences.

Mr Burnham said police "deserve better" as the force handles one of its largest ever investigations into the terrorist atrocity.

Mr Burnham tweeted: "@gmpolice are stretched to limit & in middle of on-going investigation. These EDL-types who came today need to have a look at themselves."

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