Two men plead not guilty to killing British soldier on London street

LONDON Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:58pm BST

A picture of victim Drummer Lee Rigby, of the British Army's 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers is displayed with flowers left by mourners outside an army barracks near the scene of his killing in Woolwich, southeast London May 23, 2013. REUTERS/Toby Melville

A picture of victim Drummer Lee Rigby, of the British Army's 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers is displayed with flowers left by mourners outside an army barracks near the scene of his killing in Woolwich, southeast London May 23, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Toby Melville

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LONDON (Reuters) - Two men pleaded not guilty on Friday to murdering a British soldier whose killing in broad daylight on a busy London street in May horrified the nation.

Drummer Lee Rigby, 25, a veteran of the Afghan war, was hacked to death on May 22 near an army barracks in Woolwich, southeast London. A post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as "multiple incised wounds".

Michael Adebolajo, 28, and Michael Adebowale, 22, appeared by videolink from prison at London's Old Bailey criminal court where they denied murdering Rigby, conspiracy to murder a police officer and attempted murder of a police officer.

The two men, wearing red T-shirts, spoke only to confirm their names with both also using their Islamic names - Mujahid Abu Hamza for Adebolajo and Ismail Ibn Abdullah for Adebowale. Their trial is due to start on November 18.

Rigby's widow Rebecca broke down in tears as she watched the hearing.

(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Belinda Goldsmith, Guy Faulconbridge and Jon Boyle)

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