London: A man was hacked to death in a street near an army barracks in London on Wednesday in what Prime Minister David Cameron said appeared to be a politically motivated attack.
The victim was a British soldier killed in broad daylight by unidentified assailants who tried to behead him while shouting "God is greatest" in Arabic, media reports said.
Soon after the attack, two men carrying weapons were shot and wounded by police.
Cameron cut short a visit to France to return to London and chair an emergency national security meeting.
"It is the most appalling crime," Cameron said in Paris. "The police are urgently seeking the full facts about this case but there are strong indications that it is a terrorist incident."
Police sealed off streets around the Woolwich area in southeast London and helicopters hovered overhead after the attack. Pools of blood stained the street.
Video footage filmed by an onlooker and broadcast by Britain's ITV news channel showed a man with hands covered in blood and holding a bloodied knife.
In the clip, the man, looking agitated and angry, said: "I apologise that women had to witness that, but in our lands our women have to see the same thing.
"You people will never be safe. Remove your government. They don't care about you."
The man could have been refering to Afghanistan, where British troops are part of the international force supporting the Kabul government in its fight against Taleban insurgents.