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Entries in Riots (13)

Wednesday
Feb012012

Egyptian Soccer Riots Leave Dozens Dead

AFP/Getty Images(PORT SAID, Egypt) -- Violence after a soccer match in the northern Egyptian town of Port Said has left dozens of people dead, perhaps as many as 73, and around 1,000 people injured -- a sign the death toll could still climb.

Fans of the Masry soccer club rushed the field following a 3-1 victory over the favored Ahly club. Video shows thousands of Masry fans descending onto the field -- the Ahly team and fans fleeing.

Egyptian media is reporting that most of the casualties came as a result of suffocation or head injuries.

It was the deadliest day in Egypt since former President Hosni Mubarak stepped down from power a year ago next week.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug172011

Four Years in Jail for U.K. Pair Who Incited Riots on Facebook

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Two young British men have been jailed for four years each after admitting they used Facebook to urge people to riot in their local neighborhoods.

The stiff sentences have attracted fierce debate across England, with some accusing authorities of handing out harsh punishment for relatively trivial offenses in response to the public's desire for retribution.

The sentences are the longest yet handed down in the aftermath of widespread rioting in English cities that began Aug. 6 and resulted in the death of five people and hundreds of millions of dollars worth of damage. More than 1,700 people have been arrested in the wake of the chaos so far and more than 1,000 of those have been charged.

Prime Minister David Cameron defended the English courts Wednesday, saying, "It's up to the courts to make decisions about sentencing, but they've decided to send a tough message and it's very good that the courts feel able to do that."

Jordan Blackshaw and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan from the county of Cheshire in northern England both posted messages on their Facebook pages on Aug. 8 and 9 urging friends to riot in certain places at certain times. Blackshaw told friends to "Smash Down Northwich Town," while Sutcliffe-Keenan created a page called "Let's Have a Riot in Latchford."

Police admit that no riots resulted from their postings and that neither of the guilty men was involved in acts of violence or theft themselves.

In passing sentence, Judge Elgan Edwards said both men acted separately and had behaved in an "evil manner inciting violence at a time when collective insanity gripped the nation."

Andrew Neilson, director of campaigns at the Howard League for Penal Reform, criticized the sentence, complaining the sentences were far too severe.

"A four-year sentence would normally be associated with offenses such as holding someone up at knifepoint, grievous bodily harm, sexual assault," said Neilson, "and I'm not sure that the offence in question was really related to those types of offenses."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug102011

'Vigilante' Groups Turn on London Rioters

LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Top London officials have warned the city's citizens against administering vigilante justice in the midst of widespread riots after several groups organized to protect their property by any means necessary.

"We don't want to see vigilantism," London Mayor Boris Johnson said Wednesday in a press conference, according to England's The Telegraph. "People defending their homes and shops must only use reasonable force."

Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stephen Kavanagh also urged restraint, saying "vigilantism" could lead to further violence, according to a report by the BBC.

Though the streets of London were quieter Wednesday due to a massive influx of police, the authorities' comments come just hours after reports emerged that three Pakistani men had been killed after being hit by a car while protecting a neighborhood in Birmingham, England.

"At some point, and in circumstances that as yet I can't fully explain, a vehicle has been driven into that group of males, which tragically has led to three of those men losing their lives," West Midlands Police Chief Constable Chris Sims said, according to the BBC.

Tariq Jahan, the father of one of the men, told the BBC his son and many others had come out of a nearby mosque to protect the area. One man has been arrested in connection with the deaths.

During the height of the violence Monday, video emerged of what appeared to be a Turkish group chasing rioters down the street and away from Turkish-owned shops in east London. A Bangladeshi group also reportedly gathered around their own shops to form a human barrier against rioters. Tuesday night, hundreds of Sikhs gathered outside a Sikh temple, some standing defiant with swords raised or their arms crossed over their chest.

Sikh Satjinder Singh told the BBC the group gathered because they had been tipped off looters may come to attack the neighborhood.

The English Defence League, a right-wing anti-immigration group, wrote on its website that its supporters have "already taken to the streets to help defend their communities and prepare for the clean-up operations that must follow the last few days of rioting [and] looting."

But according to a report by The Telegraph, one meeting of EDL supporters and citizens in Eltham in southeast London nearly turned violent when the group attacked a passing bus full of black youths, but was stopped by police.

Though Kavanagh said he had seen "some outstanding acts of courage... to stop people out there from breaking the law and persuading [rioters] to go home," he does not support vigilantism and believed such acts could draw valuable resources away from putting down the riots.

"What we don't need is for our resources to be diverted by groups of people, some of whom having been drinking," he said. "We do not want to see more violence on our streets."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug102011

U.K. Riots: Three Dead as London Police Go on Offensive

LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- The rioting and looting gripping England has turned deadly as it enters a fifth day Wednesday, with three men killed by a hit-and-run driver in Birmingham.

Reports from neighbors indicate that the men were attempting to protect their area from rioters when they were struck by the car.

"Three men -- aged 31, 30, and 20 -- were on foot in Dudley Road in the Winson Green area of the city when they were in collision with a car.  All later died from their injuries in hospital," read a statement on the West Midlands Police's website.  "Detectives...will today question a 32-year-old man on suspicion of murder."

In London, Scotland Yard has gone on the offensive in the streets, adding on Tuesday an additional 10,000 officers who have created an eerie calm as night fell on the capital; the show of force apparently stifled the rioting.

Officers continued to arrest those involved in disorder both on the street and as a result of detective work, according to a statement from Scotland Yard, which rejected claims that officers were initially instructed not to make arrests.

"It is simply wrong to suggest officers were initially told not to actively arrest those involved in disorder," the statement read.  "As always the decision to make an arrest is down to the individual officer on the ground who must weigh up whether it is appropriate bearing in mind risks of further inflaming the crowd, wider operational requirements and our ability to gather evidence to arrest later."

In a city bristling with security cameras, pictures of looters began appearing in the newspapers and on TV in an attempt to identify more suspects.

Police had vowed to hit the streets in greater numbers as night fell and there were no new reported hotspots in the city as of late Tuesday evening.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Embassy has issued a statement warning Americans about London violence and has reminded them of common sense practices including avoiding civil unrest and not engaging with those causing disturbance.

The violence that began in London on Saturday has spread across England, with Manchester and Nottingham reportedly being hit hard by rioters, with roving gangs of young people setting buildings and cars on fire, looting stores, and terrorizing the public.  A gang of rioters also firebombed a police station in Nottingham on Tuesday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug102011

British PM: 'We Will Take Every Action Necessary' to Quell Riots

Peter Macdiarmid/WPA Pool/Getty Images(LONDON) -- As violence persisted in Britain Tuesday, this time breaking out in Manchester, Birmingham and other cities, British Prime Minister David Cameron vowed on Wednesday to "take every action necessary to bring order back to our streets."

"We will do whatever is necessary to restore law and order unto our streets.  Every contingency is being looked at it.  Nothing is off the table," Cameron said.

The prime minister announced that police have been authorized to use rubber bullets to quell the rioters that have been looting and setting fires across London and neighboring cities since the weekend.  The violence began after Mark Duggan, a 29-year-old father of four with reported links to London gangs, was shot and killed by officers in London's Scotland Yard last Thursday.

Discussing the so-called Cobra emergency planning group, Cameron said water cannons will also be utilized to break up the rioting, if necessary.

"We agreed at Cobra that while they're not currently needed, we now have in place contingency plans for water cannons to be available at 24 hours notice," he said.

These latest measures in security come a day after Scotland Yard deployed an additional 10,000 officers on the streets of London Tuesday night.

So far, 770 people have been arrested in London -- including one 11-year-old boy.  Between Saturday night and Tuesday morning, 525 arrests were made -- 310 of which were overnight on Monday.  Across the country, a total of 1,100 arrests have been made.

"We will not put up with this in our country.  We will not allow a culture of fear to exist on our streets," Cameron said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug092011

Student Protesters Continue to Riot in Chile

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(SANTIAGO, Chile) -- Hundreds have been arrested as thousands of student protesters continue to battle against riot police in Santiago, Chile, demanding reforms within the country's educational system.  

The protests -- which have been going on for weeks -- began peacefully but escalated when some protesters broke off from the crowd and began fighting police, looting and starting fires in the Chilean capital, according to BBC News.

Demonstrators say Chile's educational system lacks funding and is unfair, prompting President Sebastian Pinera, whose approval rating has recently fallen below 30 percent, to promise additional funds.

Just last week, Chilean policymakers presented a plan consisting of 21 reforms that would increase funding, improve instructor training, provide for more scholarships and address unpaid student loan debt.

Criticizing the government for not also tackling needed improvements in private education, students refused the plan.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug092011

British Police Station Firebombed as Police, Civilian Patrols Show Numbers

CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- A gang of rioters firebombed a police station in central England late Tuesday as fiery British riots continued to spread well beyond London.

"Canning Circus Police Station fire bombed by a group of 30-40 males," Nottingham, England, police said via Twitter. "No reports of injuries at this stage. A number of men arrested. Fire service at scene."

In another tweet, officials added, "Fire at Canning Circus Police Station is extinguished, scene being preserved for forensic evidence. At least 8 arrested."

With rioting now on record in and around other British cities including Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and Liverpool, a far-right group that inspired Norwegian terror bomber Anders Behring Breivik said its members also were hitting the streets to take over where police had failed.

Earlier Tuesday, London's Metropolitan Police Service said there had been 563 people arrested and 105 charged so far in the violence and arson attacks that have rattled the northern part of London and other British cities.

The police added that the past three days had left 111 officers and five police dogs injured. Injuries ranged from fractured bones and serious head wounds to cuts and sprains.

The wave of rioting now entering its fourth day was sparked by the shooting death of 29-year-old Mark Duggan in the Tottenham section of North London last Thursday. Police have said the man shot at them first. Angry protesters demonstrated against the fatal shooting in the multi-ethnic neighborhood Saturday, and the march soon degenerated into chaos.

Since the rioting began in London, buildings, vehicles and garbage dumps have been set ablaze, with many sections of London descending into chaos -- an unsettling sight less than a year before the 2012 Olympics take over the capital. Two hundred Olympic officials were to arrive in London Tuesday for a planned review of 2012 Games preparations.

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron cut his summer vacation in Italy short to chair a meeting of the government's emergency committee early Tuesday. Parliament will sit for a day on Thursday to debate the problem.

Speaking from 10 Downing Street Tuesday morning, Cameron told reporters that he would meet with the Metropolitan Police commissioner and the home secretary to discuss the crisis. After commending the police for their response so far, he said that there would be 16,000 police on the streets of London Tuesday night.

Cameron had a message for those rioting and breaking the law across the country. "You will feel the full force of the law, and if you are old enough to commit these crimes you are old enough to face the consequences....You are not only wrecking lives of others, not only your community, you are potentially wrecking your own lives, too," he said.

London's Ambulance Service said it had treated 16 patients, 15 of whom were hospitalized. A 26-year-old man is in serious condition in the hospital after he was shot Monday in Croydon.

London Police said all holding cells in the capital were full. Arrested rioters have been sent to police detention facilities outside London.

According to Scotland Yard, three people were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a police officer was injured by a car in Brent, northwest London, while trying to stop suspected looters.

As of early Tuesday, London has seen arson attacks and looting in more than a dozen locations, including some relatively affluent parts of town, including the central neighborhood of Notting Hill. Early Tuesday, firefighters were dealing with five major blazes, including a large one at a Sony distribution center in Enfield, northeast London, where looting reportedly took place early Monday night.

Observers have said that social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have not been a key factor in organizing rioters, but that many of the teenagers rioting and looting across London are communicating through BlackBerry Messenger.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug092011

Riots in London: Police Canine Unit Takes Hit

LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Riots spreading across the UK are not only taking a toll on London's police, the canine unit has taken a hit as dogs and their handlers have been attacked with "bricks, bottles, wood and other missiles," according to a statement from the Metropolitan Police.

On Tuesday, London police -- popularly known as Scotland Yard -- said that 111 officers have been injured in the violence, as well as five police dogs.

Linpol Luke, aka "Obi," suffered a severe head injury Sunday from a thrown brick. Marshfield Mia also was injured that day after being hit by a thrown bottle.

And Monday, three police dogs -- Minstrel Blaze, Quirk Ruby and Zach -- suffered broken teeth and cuts from thrown missiles.

"The level of violence directed against our officers as they have bravely done their duty to keep London safe is unprecedented. We have over 50 officers who have needed treatment -- some may even require surgery. Our dog units and mounted section have faced tough conditions and some have suffered injuries also," deputy assistant commissioner Steve Kavanagh said in the statement Tuesday.

"We are now undertaking an operation to identify those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will not tolerate this dangerous behavior," he said.

The wave of rioting in its third night was sparked by the fatal shooting of a 29-year-old father in North London Thursday. Police have said the man shot at them first. Angry protesters demonstrated against the death Saturday and the march soon degenerated into chaos.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug082011

London Neighborhood Still in Turmoil over Mark Duggan Shooting

Hemera Technologies/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- The northern London neighborhood of Tottenham erupted again into violence Sunday night as police clashed with rioters protesting the shooting death last week of 29-year-old Mark Duggan.

Questions have been raised over the shooting death of the father of four, which locals claim was a "pre-planned operation," while police maintain their officers began shooting only when they came under fire.

What was supposed to be a peaceful protest Saturday night turned into hours or rioting, arson and looting.  Tottenham police were forced to call in units from five other neighborhoods to help quell the unrest.

More than two dozen cops were hurt in the melee and at least 55 people were arrested for various charges of disturbing peace.

Authorities were hoping that Sunday would be more peaceful, but there were reports throughout the night of sporadic crimes committed in Tottenham and elsewhere, although not with the same intensity of the previous night's riots.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug042011

Riot Police Fire Tear Gas, Water Cannons at Protesters in Santiago

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(SANTIAGO) -- Riot police fired tear gas and water cannons at crowds during Thursday's unauthorized student protests over educational costs in the Chilean capital of Santiago.

Students set up barricades of burning tires around the city Thursday morning and threw rocks at approaching army tanks trying to put out the fires.

Hundreds of protesters were detained by riot police as they tried to march on the Plaza de Armas in the city center.

In Chile, public schools are owned by municipalities instead of the state and, therefore, the quality of education varies based on location.

Students want public universities to be government-owned and free of charge.

During a second protest in the evening, students holding banners began marching on Plaza Italia.

Within 10 minutes, riot police arrived in tanks and began firing tear gas on the crowd. Students covered their mouths and ran as tears ran down from their bloodshot eyes.

For weeks, more than 100,000 students, most of whom are at the undergraduate or high school level, have been protesting on the streets of Santiago.

Chile spends 4.4 percent of the country's budget on public education, less than the seven percent recommended by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

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