The family of Drummer Lee Rigby has condemned the disorder that has followed his death, saying he would not have wanted people to use his name to carry out attacks.

Rigby, 25, was killed near the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, southeast London as he made his way back from work at the Tower of London.

His death has sparked a number of attacks on innocent people and an anti-Islamic backlash, with far-right groups also clashing with police as they staged rallies protesting about his death.

His family has called for calm, saying that the 25-year-old would not have wanted people to use his death as an excuse to carry out assaults.

In a statement released by the Ministry of Defence, the Rigby family said: "Lee loved life and he loved people. He had many friends from different walks of life - some with different religious beliefs and cultures.

"But this made no difference to Lee - he always treated others with the greatest of respect.

"We would like to emphasise that Lee would not want people to use his name as an excuse to carry out attacks against others.

"We would not wish any other families to go through this harrowing experience and appeal to everyone to keep calm and show their respect in a peaceful manner."

Since Rigby's death, there have been more than 200 reports of hate attacks on Muslims, according to Faith Matters, an organisation that works to reduce extremism.

Wrong and disgraceful

Commanding officers of Rigby's regiment, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, have also urged its soldiers not to take part in any far-right demonstrations. They described the marches as an excuse to exploit his death for "a range of self-serving and unhelpful reasons".

Regimental secretary Brig Ian Liles, of Fusiliers Association North East, said: "It is wrong and disgraceful that the death of one of our own should be exploited in this manner and that dishonour, by wrongful association, is brought on to the regiment.

"The reputation of the army will be damaged if individuals with visible connections to the army participate in demonstrations in support of Dmr Rigby that are associated with extremist organisations."

Rigby's mother, father and estranged wife Rebecca - with whom he has a two-year-old son, Jack - thanked people for their overwhelming support.

"The loss of Lee has obviously had a devastating effect on us but in these sad times we would just like to say how grateful we are for the overwhelming support we have received from the general public, army and the police service.

"The generosity, kindness and sympathy expressed by everyone we have come into contact with has been truly staggering and is giving us the strength to carry on.

"We all loved Lee deeply and we know that he loved us. We all miss him so much. He was a fun-loving, approachable young man with a smile that always managed to light up a room. We have heard so many stories about him from so many people and they have brought us great comfort."

An inquest into the death of Rigby has revealed that his injuries were so severe he had to be identified through dental records.

Michael Adebowale, 22, of Greenwich, has appeared before Westminster magistrates charged with his murder.

A second suspect, Michael Adebolajo, 28, remains under police guard in a London hospital and has not yet been interviewed by detectives.