Detectives investigating the brutal killing of Drummer Lee Rigby have arrested three further men on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder.
Two men aged 24 and 28 were arrested at a residential address in south east London while a 21-year-old man was arrested in the street in Charlton Lane, Charlton. Police from the Counter Terrorism Command supported by specialist firearms officers used Tasers to detain two of them.
The arrests came as authorities in France investigated whether the killing was linked to an attack on a French soldier who was stabbed in the neck in a busy shopping area outside Paris.
The two men suspected of murdering Drummer Rigby, 25, in Woolwich remain in hospital after being shot by police when they charged towards armed officers on Wednesday, while a 29-year-old man arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder has now been released on bail, police confirmed.
Police were also executing search warrants at four residential addresses in south east London. The three men were all arrested between 6pm and 6.30pm and were being taken to a south London police station. Tasers were used on the 21 and 28-year-old with neither needing hospital treatment. Searches have also been taking place at three other addresses in south London, one in east London, one in north London and one in Saxilby, Lincolnshire, the former home of Adebolajo.
The two men suspected of murdering Drummer Rigby, who have been identified as Michael Adebolajo, 28, and Michael Oluwatobi Adebowale, 22, remain in a stable condition in hospital, police added. Drummer Rigby was hit by a car and then attacked with weapons including a knife and a meat cleaver but the cause of his death has not been confirmed by a post-mortem examination.
The young father's murder has provoked a backlash of anger across the country, with many incidents of mosques being attacked, racial abuse and comments made on social media. But close to the spot where he was brutally hacked to death, people showed solidarity today as they comforted one another and left floral tributes, adding to the thousands of bouquets already there.
Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that the parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) is to investigate following the disclosure that Adebolajo and Adebowale were known to MI5. Police refused to comment on reports that Adebowale was arrested two months ago.
Two women aged 29 and 31 have both been released without charge after they were held on Thursday on suspicion of conspiracy to murder, while a number of other people not directly involved with the attack have been charged over malicious comments made on social networking sites.
French president Francois Hollande said authorities were investigating any possible link between the Paris attack, which was not believed to have seriously injured the 23-year-old soldier, and that on Drummer Rigby. A Scotland Yard spokesman said he was unable to say whether police were connecting the incidents.