Eight arrested in mosque protest
The anti-Islamic group had to call off the planned protest
Eight people have been arrested during a demonstration outside a mosque in north-west London where an anti-Islamic protest was planned.
About 1,000 people gathered outside Harrow Central Mosque as activists from Stop Islamification of Europe planned to demonstrate outside the mosque.
Unite Against Fascism were also present to "defend the mosque", they said.
Bricks, bottles and firecrackers were thrown at police officers who are present in riot gear at the scene.
Just after 2000 BST, police said there were a small number of people in the area. Mobile patrols are continuing in a bid to reassure residents.
Earlier, hundreds of youths, some covering their faces with scarves, were in the area and there were skirmishes with police as some demonstrators broke a police cordon.
'Saddened and dismayed'
Stop Islamification of Europe (SIOE) said they planned a "peaceful protest" against the building of a five-storey mosque next to the Harrow Central Mosque.
But in a message on their website SIOE said the protest had been called off and organiser Stephen Gash had been arrested.
The posting read: "If you are on your way to the demo, don't go, it's being called off right now.
"The police can't handle the Muslim counter-demonstrators. The senior sergeant said that he doesn't want any of his policemen killed."
Bricks and bottles were thrown at police
Seven people were arrested for possession of offensive weapons including a hammer, a chisel and bottles of bleach.
Police believe these arrests were not linked to the SIOE protest.
Another person was arrested to prevent a breach of the peace, police said.
Police also stopped a number of people, who they believed were heading for the anti-Islamist protest, from getting to the protest area.
"If the SIOE demonstration started it would have resulted in serious disorder," a statement from police said.
Councillor David Ashton, leader of Harrow Council, said: "We are saddened and dismayed that groups from outside the borough have come here and caused unrest.
"Harrow has an excellent record in community relations and we condemn those who came to our borough from elsewhere to either foist extreme political opinions on us or use religion as a cover for causing trouble."