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Riots fears shut down the capital

Much of London has shut down early as 16,000 police officers took to the streets ahead of a feared fourth night of rioting, looting and arson.

By mid-afternoon, most businesses across the capital had closed their doors and many firms sent staff home amid concerns about further mob violence.

Prime Minister David Cameron flew back from his holiday early to join police chiefs in warning rioters they would face the full weight of the law.

The Metropolitan Police, which has been accused of losing control of parts of London, flooded the streets with nearly three times as many officers as were on duty during Monday night's disorder.

Some 30 other forces lent officers to bolster the numbers for a massive policing operation intended to put a stop to the horrific scenes witnessed across the country since Saturday.

Scotland Yard ruled out involving the Army for now but said police were "not scared" of using plastic bullets to bring the unprecedented riots under control.

The violence first erupted in Tottenham, north London, on Saturday night after a peaceful protest over the fatal police shooting of Mark Duggan, 29, last Thursday.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission confirmed that there was no evidence that Mr Duggan fired at officers before he was shot in the chest.

Mr Duggan's family said they were "deeply distressed" by the disorder across the country which has followed his death.

Mr Cameron cut short his holiday in Tuscany to return to take personal charge of efforts to quell the rioting. After chairing a meeting of the Government's emergency committee, Cobra, the Prime Minister announced that Parliament would be recalled for a day on Thursday to discuss the developments.

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