450 held as riots spread across Britain (Second Lead)

August 9th, 2011 - 2:34 pm ICT by IANS  

David Cameron London, Aug 9 (IANS) Rioting and arson Tuesday spread from London to other cities in Britain, including Birmingham and Manchester, with 450 people arrested for the spiralling violence in the last three days and Prime Minister David Cameron cutting short his holiday to return home.

London, which is to stage next year’s Olympic Games, witnessed a third night of violence as other cities saw unrest. Protesters were seen destroying and looting shops, setting cars and buildings alight and engaging in clashes with police.

The riots took in their grip cities like Birmingham, where the England and Indian cricket teams were holed up in a hotel ahead of their Test match scheduled to begin Wednesday, Liverpool, Nottingham and Bristol and Manchester.

BBC reported that at least 450 people have been arrested following the riots across London over the past three days.

Violence began in the British capital’s northern district of Tottenham Saturday over the fatal shooting of a man by police.

Some 300 people gathered outside a police station in Tottenham Saturday night to demand “justice” after 29-year-old cab driver and alleged drug dealer Mark Duggan was killed in Thursday’s shootout with police.

Britons are shocked by the scale of violence.

Christian Potts, a resident of Ealing, said: “It looks like a war zone - I have never seen anything like it in all my life.”

“There were about 25 to 30 masked youths and they just started tearing into a florist with bricks,” BBC quoted him as saying.

Authorities said that an extra 1,700 officers had been deployed across the capital Monday night.

Prime Minister David Cameron had to cut short his holiday and flew back to Britain. He will chair the government’s emergency committee to discuss the riots.

London continued to witness violence stretching the emergency services beyond limit on a third night of rioting in the capital, the Guardian said.

Buildings were set ablaze, shops looted, and police officers attacked as gangs of hooded youths roamed the streets.

Buildings were set on fire in Croydon, south London and a massive fire gutted a 100-year-old furniture store.

A police station in Holyhead Road in Handsworth, Birmingham, was on fire and 100 people were arrested.

There were reports of cars being damaged in Britain’s Manchester city and of up to 200 youths with masks roaming through Toxteth in Liverpool city.

Police in Bristol said they were dealing with outbreaks of disorder involving about 150 people.

A senior police official vowed that those responsible “will face the consequences of their actions and be arrested”.

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