London riots ignite fears about 2012 Olympics

Monday, August 08, 2011    

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LONDON (AP) — Police deployed extra officers on London's streets to prevent a repeat of rioting and looting in a deprived area amid community anger over a fatal police shooting, as new disturbances broke out in another district of the city late Sunday.

A peaceful protest against the killing of the 29-year-old man in north London's Tottenham area degenerated into a Saturday night rampage, with rioters torching a double-decker bus, destroying patrol cars and trashing a shopping mall in the nearby Wood Green district.

Disturbances broke out late Sunday in Enfield, about five miles (eight kilometres) north of Tottenham. TV footage showed riot and mounted police patrolling the streets, and there were also images of smashed shop windows, and police with dogs detaining at least one man.

There were also reports that a police car was vandalised in Enfield. Sky News television reported that several hundred young people were on the streets causing trouble.

In Saturday's violence, several buildings were set ablaze. TV footage showed the double-decker bus in a fireball and mounted police charging through the streets trying to restore order. Police said 26 officers received injuries, most if not all apparently minor, and made 55 arrests, including four Sunday. The majority of arrests were for burglary; other offenses included violent disorder, robbery, theft and handling of stolen goods.

Social networking websites swirled with rumours of other riots beginning or being planned in other areas of the city, but police warned the public not to trust everything they saw on the Internet -- adding that officers were keeping a close eye on what was being said online as well.

The violence has cast a pall over a city preparing to host the 2012 Olympic Games.

"I hope people will have a fantastic Olympics no matter what happened last night," London Mayor Boris Johnson said in a telephone interview with BBC television, trying to assure the world his city was safe.




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