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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Senseless violence spreads from London

Sulaiman Kamal | 3:44 PM | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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Riots spread to cities outside London as 16,000 police take to the steets of 
London in a show of strength.
LONDON: Britain’s worst riots for decades spread to new cities as youths ran amok in Manchester and the industrial Midlands, after 16,000 police took to the streets of London in a show of strength.
Violence erupted in Manchester, Britain’s third-largest city, as youths smashed shop windows and looted shops and chased photographers away from the scene, while hooded rioters set fire to buildings in West Bromwich and Wolverhampton in central England.
There were unconfirmed reports a firearm was used by a rioter near Aston, north of the city centre.
Looters also targeted shops in Birmingham for another night.

In Nottingham, a group of 30 to 40 men firebombed a police station in the city centre, but there were no reports of injures. Several men were arrested at the scene.
However as darkness fell in London there seemed to be no repeat of the wave of violence which left parts of the capital in flames on Monday night.
Scotland Yard cancelled all leave, suspended almost all other investigations and called on 27 forces across Britain to stem the threat of a fourth night of violent disorder in the capital.
Reinforcements included 50 specialist riot squads. Officers trained to use baton rounds, or plastic bullets, were on duty and senior officers said that they were “not scared” to use them to save lives and livelihoods.
The trebling of officer numbers was a radical shift in the Metropolitan Police’s tactics.
Met officers said that until the violence ran out of control on Monday night they had been ordered to “stand and observe” rather than take on rioters. They claimed that the Met, which is facing difficult court cases over the death of a man at a G20 protest and the policing of last year’s student demonstrations, was afraid to confront mass disorder.
Sickening scenes
In a development which will do nothing to calm tensions, Britain’s police watchdog said it found no evidence that Mark Duggan – whose shooting by police last week was the catalyst for the riots in London – had fired a gun at officers.
In a pre-planned operation, armed officers stopped the taxi in which Duggan, 29, was travelling in the multi-ethnic district of Tottenham in north London. Shots were fired and Duggan died at the scene.
Prime Minister David Cameron condemnded the “sickening scenes” of vandalism, arson and looting, promising more robust police action and many more arrests.
“This is criminality pure and simple and it has to be confronted and defeated,” Cameron said after returning from holiday in Italy to take charge of the crisis.
“People should be in no doubt, we will do everything necessary to restore order to Britain’s streets and to make them safe for the law-abiding.”
Last night it was the turn of Manchester to suffer civil disorder as rioters set fire to high street stores, fought cat-and-mouse battles with police and looted shops. Some of Greater Manchester Police’s riot officers had been deployed in London to help the capital cope.
The clothing store Miss Selfridge was set on fire as hundreds of youths ran down Market Street smashing windows. Dozens more tried to force the door to the Arndale shopping centre and windows were smashed at Marks & Spencer, Patisserie Valerie and the Ugg store.
Many of the rioters appeared to be exploiting the unrest to pick off designer labels. Looters were seen strolling through the city centre carrying televisions on their shoulders. There were many more spectators seemingly enjoying the mayhem.
The arrest toll reached 563 by mid-afternoon, with 105 people charged. Magistrates’ courts announced 24-hour sessions to deal with the cases.
Every cell in London was full and the Met was sending prisoners to police stations outside the capital. Senior officers said they were prepared for “mass disorder” again in London but, from now, would meet it head-on.

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