London calms down, unrest spreads to other British cities (Lead)

August 10th, 2011 - 3:27 pm ICT by IANS  

David Cameron London, Aug 10 (IANS) London was largely peaceful Wednesday after witnessing over four days of violence as the unrest spread to other British cities where rioters stalked the streets, looted stores and burnt buildings.

Sporadic violence broke out in various cities across Britain, although London remained largely calm following a heavy police presence. As many as 16,000 police officers were deployed in London city alone, nearly 10,000 more than Monday.

There was unrest in Manchester, Salford, Liverpool, Wolverhampton, Nottingham, Leicester and Birmingham, reported BBC.

Prime Minister David Cameron, who cut short his holiday, has recalled parliament over Monday night’s “sickening scenes”.

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 a shootout Thursday with the police.

The spiralling violence has left Britons angry and upset.

London Mayor Boris Johnson was confronted by a businesswoman for failing to protect the people.

Onelia Giarratano’s hair salon in Clapham Junction was targetted by the rioters and she compared the violence to “a war movie”.

She told Johnson: “A brick came through the window and no one was here to defend me.”

“We were in complete shock. They were mocking us from outside. We were left completely terrified,” Daily Mail quoted her as saying.

The Guardian reported that Central Manchester and Salford saw looting and disorder after gangs battled police and ransacked shops. There was also trouble in Birmingham and elsewhere in the West Midlands.

The city of Manchester saw major disturbances with groups of young people evading police attempts to stop them and then breaking into a series of upmarket shops and setting a branch of a clothing chain ablaze.

“It’s shocking. There were others with young kids throwing stones and abuse,” Tony Harrison, a local, was quoted as saying.

The violence ebbed in Manchester city centre around midnight and police regained control.

Garry Shewan, a police official of Greater Manchester police, said Manchester and Salford had been badly damaged.

“These are pure and simple criminals running wild tonight,” Shewan was quoted as saying.

“They have nothing to protest against. There has been no spark. This has been senseless on a scale I have never witnessed before in my career.”

Masked gangs in central Manchester’s New Cathedral Street targeted a series of high-end outlets, among them Louis Vuitton, and Selfridges.

In central Birmingham, a mob of up to 300 youths gathered attacking shops.

Riot police cornered 60 youths in Wolverhampton after five hours of sporadic violence forced shops to be shuttered and pubs closed early.

Despite the unrest, people were determined to get on with their lives.

In the London borough of Hackney, 200 locals joined hands for a two-minute silence. They were armed with brooms so that they could clean up.

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