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Cars attacked, shops looted as London riots escalate

posted 8 Aug 2011, 13:51 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 8 Aug 2011, 13:55 ]
Blazing vehicles line the main streets of Hackney London as a group of young men walk away with goods from a smashed-up shop.

HACKNEY, LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (AUGUST 8, 2011) ITN/BBC HELICOPTER -  Vehicles were set ablaze and apparent looting was underway in the north London borough of Hackney on Monday (August 8), television news footage showed, as three days of rioting in the British capital escalated.

The disturbances started late on Saturday (August 6) in London's northern Tottenham district when a peaceful protest over the police's shooting of a suspect turned violent, leaving parts of the high street charred and its shops looted.

The violence on Monday spread to Hackney in east London and the deprived districts of Peckham and Lewisham in south London.

Home Secretary Theresa May, who cut short her holiday to take charge of the government response to the riots, said arrests had climbed to 215 and 27 people had been charged.

The mayhem has so far been centred mainly in multi-ethnic, poorer parts of London, only a few miles from the Olympic park that will welcome millions of visitors in less than a year.