10 Aug 2011

Violence flares again throughout Britain

10:59 pm on 10 August 2011

Violence and looting flared again in some of Britain's major cities for a fourth night although London, the epicentre of the riots, has been calm.

In Birmingham, police have launched a murder inquiry after three Muslim men died when they were hit by a car while reportedly trying to protect their community from looters.

A murder inquiry has also begun in London after a man was found shot in his car in Croydon.

Police now have access to baton rounds - plastic bullets never before used on Britain's mainland. But Prime Minister David Cameron has rejected calls for tougher measures such as tear gas and water canons.

Mr Cameron promised tough action against the rioters and looters, saying anyone convicted of disorder should be sent to prison and the government will take eery action to restore order to the streets.

Groups of young people ransacked shops, broke glass and hurled stones at police in Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool on Tuesday night, the BBC reports.

Manchester police say they have faced extraordinary levels of violence. Some 113 people have been arrested so far over the trouble in Manchester and Salford, where hundreds of youths looted shops and set fire to cars and buildings.

The BBC reports one of its radio cars was also set on fire in Salford and a television cameraman attacked.

In Nottingham, in central England, the Canning Circus police station was attacked by a group of about 40 men and fire-bombed.

Groups of youths using masks and hoods to hide their faces congregated around parts of the city, setting cars on fire and attacking businesses, pubs and community centres. Ninety people have been arrested.

In West Bromwich and Wolverhampton, cars were burned and stores raided.

In Liverpool's Toxteth district, rioters set fire to two fire engines and a fire officer's car. There have been scores more arrests.

There have also been reports of other disturbances in Leicester, the Midlands, in Milton Keynes north of London, and Gloucester in the southwest.

The riots began on Saturday after a fatal shooting by police of a man by police in Tottenham, north London, last Thursday.

Reports initially suggested Mark Duggan, 29, had shot at police. However, an inquiry by the the Independent Police Complaints Commission says there is no evidence a handgun retrieved at the scene had been fired.