London: British police arrested 15 people and four officers were injured when scuffles broke out at a demonstration by about 300 members of an anti-Islam group in central England on Saturday.
In the latest protest by the right-wing English Defence League, which was formed last year to campaign against Islamic extremism, police clashed with demonstrators as they sought to separate them from a rival anti-fascist march.
Many of the EDL demonstrators had been drinking before the march in the central town of Stoke, during which members waved placards proclaiming ‘Patriotism is not racism’ and ‘Terrorists off our streets’.
Police said 15 people had been arrested for public order offences and four officers had been injured, including one officer who was hospitalised with an arm injury and a second who underwent medical checks after being assaulted.
"The vast majority of demonstrators today expressed their views peacefully," said police Superintendent Dave Mellor on Saturday.
He added: "However, the actions and behaviour of a small minority of protestors have been totally unacceptable and deplorable."