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London rioting spreads north
Violence, vandals follow shooting
Question of the Day
LONDON — New unrest erupted on north London’s streets late Sunday, a day after rioting and looting in a deprived area amid anger over a fatal police shooting.
Police deployed extra officers on London’s streets to prevent a repeat of Saturday’s violence in north London’s Tottenham area, which appeared to be quiet Sunday night.
But disturbances broke out in Enfield, about 5 miles north of Tottenham. TV footage showed riot and mounted police patrolling the streets, and there were also images of smashed shop windows, and police with dogs detaining at least one man.
In Enfield, there were reports that a police car was vandalized, and Sky News television reported that several hundred young people were on the streets causing trouble, with footage showing a looted pharmacy.
“We do have extra resources out tonight on duty across the capital,” police commander Christine Jones said. “We are carefully monitoring any intelligence and ensuring we have our resources in the right places. No one wants to see a repeat of the scenes that we witnessed last night in Tottenham.”
According to the British cable news channel, there also has been violence in London’s Walthamstow and Brixton neighborhoods.
In Saturday’s violence, several buildings were set ablaze. TV footage showed a double-decker bus in a fireball and mounted police charging through the streets trying to restore order.
Police said 26 officers sustained injuries, most if not all apparently minor, and made 55 arrests, including four on Sunday. The majority of arrests were for burglary; other offenses included violent disorder, robbery, theft and handling of stolen goods.
London’s fire department said it dealt with 49 “primary” fires in Tottenham after a protest against the fatal shooting of a young man became a Saturday night rampage. No firefighters were injured.
Social-networking websites swirled with rumors of other riots beginning or being planned in other areas of the city, but police warned the public not to trust everything they saw on the Internet — adding that officers were keeping a close eye on what was being said online as well.
British media said that an officer involved in the shooting had a bullet lodged in his radio, suggesting a gunfight.
Saturday’s protest set off from Broadwater Farm, but got ugly as between 300 and 500 people gathered around Tottenham’s police station. Some protesters filled bottles with gasoline to throw at police lines, others confronted officers with makeshift weapons and attempted to storm the station.
Within hours, police in riot gear and on horseback were clashing with hundreds of rioters, fires were raging out of control, and looters combed the area. One video posted to the Guardian newspaper’s website showed looting being carried out at daybreak several hours later, with people even lining up to steal from one store.
The devastated area smoldered Sunday. Two police helicopters hovered over the burned-out buildings as residents inspected the damage and firefighters doused the last of the flames.
By John McAfee
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