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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Anarchy in London after police kill man

Several British police officers were injured and a number of people arrested when rioting broke out late Saturday in a depressed district of London, Britain's capital.

A protest over the fatal shooting of a 29-year-old man by police on Thursday that started peacefully suddenly turned violent. Several buildings, cars and a double-decker bus were set on fire before order was restored.

The crowd numbering in the hundreds also broke shop windows and looted stores, pushing carts full of stolen goods down the streets of the Tottenham district of north London.

Police are now patrolling the district with concern of more trouble later on Sunday.

The rioting was the worst London has seen in years.

Tottenham, home to a large number of ethnic minorities, has a history of racial tensions.

An officer may have had a lucky escape in the clash - a police radio was found to have a bullet lodged in it.
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The unrest followed a protest march from Broadwater Farm, a 1960s public housing estate widely known for the killing of Police Constable Keith Blakelock, who was hacked to death during a riot there in 1985.
Before midnight on Saturday, the protest had turned violent, leading to 42 arrests. Police say 26 officers were hurt, including one who sustained a head injury. Two police cars and a double-decker bus were burnt and ''bottles and other missiles'' were thrown at police by the crowd, police said in a statement.
By midnight, the crowd had grown to several hundred and thick black smoke hung over the area after several shops were set alight.
Most of the crowd consisted of onlookers, The Guardian reported, who jeered as riot police, police vans and mounted units arrived. There were chants of ''we want answers'' and ''whose streets? Our streets.''
Eight police were treated in hospital.
Tottenham is home to a high proportion of poor ethnic minorities with a significant black population. ''How many black people have to die around here?'' asked one of the youths, who gave his name as Pablo. ''I hate the police,'' he said.
The anarchy even spread to another suburb several kilometres away where looters attacked a shopping centre in Wood Green. Clothing and coat hangers littered the street as young looters smashed the doors and ransacked nearly every shop.
Startling pictures claiming to be from the scene popped up on Twitter almost instantly, with some posters saying the destruction included the bus, a police station and another building.
Photos posted on the website Hashalbum.com/tottenham, described as being from the scene in Tottenham, showed a bus engulfed in flames and people in the smoke-choked streets.
By 3am, it appeared that parts of the riot zone had spiralled out of police control. A fire raged in a block-long building. More fires raged unabated in narrow streets and alleys.
A group of young men laden with looted groceries sprinted down a side street, screaming, ''Let's load up!''
The youths seemed to be both jubilant and deadly serious and the street had an almost party-like atmosphere, punctuated by intense violence.
The young men seemed unconcerned about how the night might end. ''I don't care,'' Pablo said.
By early yesterday, riot police were patrolling the streets and restored order and all fires were under control. The BBC said a friend of Mr Duggan, who gave her name as Niki, 53, said that the demonstrators had wanted ''justice for the family'' and that ''something had to be done''.
Some of the demonstrators lay in the road, she said. ''They're making their presence known because people are not happy.

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