One man is dead and hundreds are in custody as London reels from the third and worst night of violence, arson and looting. The unrest has spread to Britain's second-largest city, Birmingham, as well as Leeds, Liverpool and other cities.
Up to 16,000 extra police officers are deployed today after officers were "overwhelmed" by the numbers and scope of the riots, reports The Guardian.
Buildings were set ablaze, businesses ransacked; overstretched officers were pelted with petrol bombs, bricks and other makeshift missiles. Normally peaceful streets were laid waste as rioting flashed around the city. A man died after being shot in Croydon, south London.
At times the police appeared overwhelmed by the sheer number of incidents – which began with serious rioting in Hackney and spread to the south London neighborurhoods of Peckham, Lewisham, Colliers Wood and Croydon, where a 100-year-old furniture store was torched.
In Hackney [East London], trouble flared at around 4.45pm, in broad daylight and captured live by a BBC News helicopter. Gangs of youths fought pitched battles along the length of the main street in Hackney, Mare Street. Buses were trapped, shops were looted and vans were disgorged of their contents.
The 26-year-old man shot and killed in a car in Croydon, South London, is the "first known fatality since the unrest began" in Tottenham, North London on Saturday.
The Saturday night riots began as a peaceful protest over the death of 29-yar-old Mark Duggan, who was killed Thursday by officers from the Metropolitan Police. The flash point apparently was when a teenage girl—who may have thrown something—was brutally attacked by riot police.
The unrest has largely been confined to poor areas and the city Black communities. Tottenham has highest unemployment rates in London. It has a "history of racial tension and ... many Blacks have complained" about police abuses, adds Reuters. Across the UK, commentators say there is growing anger over "economic hardship, poor prospects for many youths" and a widening gulf of inequality.
Prayers and best wishes to all of our friends in London. Watch video AFTER THE JUMP ...