For the past three nights since August 6, London has been besieged by a series of riots and public disturbances. Described by the UK newspaper Guardian as “the worst disturbances of their kind since the 1995 Brixton riots,” the unrest has resulted to burning of cars and buildings, lootings in shops and commercial establishments, and violent clashes between rioters and police.
Below are pictures of the London riots from The Telegraph and BBC News websites.
Background and Timeline of the London riots
The current riots are said to have started as a result of the fatal shooting by the police of Mark Duggan on August 4, 2011. Twenty-nine year-old Duggan, an alleged cocaine dealer, was shot dead on Ferry Lane bridge, next to Tottenham Hale station, by members of Operation Trident, a police unit investigating gun crime in the black community of London.
Friends and relatives claimed Duggan was unarmed when he was killed. A protest was organized on August 6 to demand justice for the killing. More than 200 people joined the protest but local criminals subverted the event, turning the initially peaceful gathering into a massive riot. Hours later a series of public disturbances, including attacks on police cars, public buses, and local businesses, emerged in the area of Tottenham.
On August 7, further unrest ensued in neighboring Wood Green where more than 100 youths looted shops and commercial establishments. More riots also occurred in the areas of Enfield, Brixton, Islington, Oxford Circus, Dalston, and Waltham Cross.
On August 8, the third night, police stepped up and placed all 32 boroughs of London on riot alert. Despite police presence, more unrest and looting occurred in several areas within and outside London. A Sony distribution center in Enfield was set on fire destroying the entire building. Police and rioters clashed in Cloydon where rioters threw bricks, bottles and stones. House of Reeves, a large furniture store in the area, was set alight and burned to the ground. In Ealing Broadway, more than 200 people attacked police cars and vandalized and looted various stores.
On August 9, UK Prime Minister David Cameron returned early from his holiday in Italy and announced that 16,000 police officers will be deployed in anticipation of further violence.
Pictures of the London UK riots
Photo credit: BBC, Yahoo News, Reuters