Britain burns: Riots spread through UK cities
LONDON (AP) — A wave of violence and looting raged across London and spread to three other major British cities, as authorities struggled to contain the country’s worst unrest since race riots set the capital ablaze in the 1980s.
In London, groups of young people rampaged for a third straight night, setting buildings, vehicles and garbage dumps alight, looting stores and pelting police officers with bottles and fireworks into early Tuesday. The spreading disorder was an unwelcome warning of the possibility of violence during London’s 2012 Summer Olympics, less than a year away.
In rare move, England’s soccer match Wednesday against the Netherlands in London’s Wembley stadium was cancelled, preventing unruly crowds from gathering and freeing up police officers who would have protected the game.
Police called in hundreds of reinforcements and volunteer police officers— and made a rare decision to deploy armored vehicles in some of the worst-hit districts — but still struggled to keep pace with the chaos unfolding at flashpoints across London, in the central city of Birmingham, the western city of Bristol and the northwestern city of Liverpool.