News / Europe

London Quiet, Riots in Manchester

Riot police chase alleged looters during civil disturbances in Manchester, England, Aug. 9, 2011
Riot police chase alleged looters during civil disturbances in Manchester, England, Aug. 9, 2011

London was quiet for the first time Tuesday after three straight nights of riots, but violence broke out in the northern city of Manchester.

Witnesses say hundreds of rampaging youths smashed windows, looted stores, and burned buildings in Britain's third largest city. More violence was also reported for a second night in Birmingham.

But in London, 16,000 police filled the streets. Many storekeepers closed early, and commuters flooded out of the city long before nightfall. Much of the British capital was quiet.

Prime Minister David Cameron vowed to restore law and order and and punish those responsible for the violence that left parts London looking like a war zone. Burned out buildings, the charred skeletons of cars, and glass line the streets. The prime minister called the violence "criminality pure and simple."

The London riots left one person dead and 58 hurt, mostly police officers.

The violence broke out last week after police shot and killed a 29-year-old father of four in the economically-depressed Tottenham neighborhood.

Some reports say the man shot a handgun at police when they stopped his taxicab.

But a police investigative report Tuesday says a handgun found at the scene had not been fired. The reason why police shot the victim is still unclear.

Tottenham is home to a large number of ethnic minorities and has a history of racial tensions. In 1985, a police officer was hacked to death when Afro-Caribbean youths in a deprived housing estate went on a rampage.

Many London residents say the riots were spurred by anger over the gloomy economic situation in north London, including high unemployment and cuts in public services.


Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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