Man arrested outside Islamic centre ahead of memorial to Iranian general

A man has been arrested outside an Islamic centre in London shortly before it was due to hold a memorial for a top Iranian general killed in a US air strike.

The Metropolitan Police said the man was detained near the Islamic Centre of England at Maida Vale in Kilburn on Saturday afternoon to prevent a breach of peace and for obstructing officers.

The incident took place about 25 minutes before the centre was due to hold a memorial community meeting in memory of General Qassem Soleimani, who was the head of Iran's elite Quds Force.

It is understood at this stage that the incident is not connected to the memorial event.

Soleimani was killed along with five others outside Baghdad airport in Iraq in a drone strike authorised by US President Donald Trump.

The Islamic Centre of England
The Islamic Centre of England

On Friday, the centre's director posted a message of condolence in which he described Soleimani as an "honourable Islamic commander".

The centre invited people to attend the "memorial majlis", which was due to take place at 5.15pm on Saturday.

A Met Police spokesman said officers arrested a man at Maida Vale at about 4.50pm.