Police cars, bus and shop torched in London riot

7th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

Riot police were sent in to battle growing unrest in a north London district Saturday after rioters torched two patrol cars, a bus and a shop after the fatal shooting of a man by police.

The patrol cars and a doubledecker bus were set ablaze as dozens gathered outside the police station on the High Road in Tottenham, smashing up shop windows. One establishment was also on fire.

Local journalists at the scene spoke of widespread looting in the crowded area and said spoke of alarming Twitter messages appealing people to join in the violence.

Riot officers have been dispersed and were coming under missile attacks, said a spokesman for London's Metropolitan Police.

Two patrol cars had parked up about 200 metres from the police station while their officers conducted traffic patrols on foot, he said.

"A number of bottles were thrown at these two cars -- one was set alight and the second was pushed into the middle of the High Road. It was subsequently set alight.

"The officers were not in the vehicles and were unhurt."

Riot squad officers have been deployed to the north and south of the police station to disperse the crowd.

The unrest occurred following a march from Broadwater Farm, a 1960s public housing estate in Tottenham.

A minicab passenger was shot dead by police in Tottenham on Thursday after an apparent exchange of fire.

The 29-year-old, named locally as Mark Duggan, a father-of-four, died at the scene.

An officer may have had a lucky escape in the incident -- a police radio was found to have a bullet lodged in it.

Local resident David Akinsanya told the BBC he was feeling "unsafe.

"It's really bad," he said. "It looks like it's going to get very tasty ... there seems to be a lot of anger in Tottenham tonight."

Broadwater Farm is widely known in Britain following the 1985 killing of Police Constable Keith Blakelock, who was hacked to death during a riot there.

Tottenham is an ethnically-diverse urban area best known for its English Premier League football club Tottenham Hotspur.

© 2011 AFP

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