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Violence breaks out across London

The latest riot scenes in London echoed those in other areas of the capital over the past two nights, with skirmishes between gangs of youths and police, reportedly prompted by a stop and search incident earlier in the day.

In Hackney, rioters, many wearing hoods and masks, were confronted by police lines spanning the streets, occasionally moving forward to push the groups back.

And a man is in a serious condition after being shot as violence flared in Croydon. Amid the disorder Scotland Yard said it had found a 26-year-old man in a car suffering from gunshot wounds in Warrington Road.

The man was taken to a south London hospital where he is described as being in a serious condition.

As the clashes erupted an officer could be seen lying on the ground after being struck on his shield by a missile. Other officers came under fire from objects including chairs and pieces of wood. At one point several people broke into the back of a stationary lorry, pulling its contents out on to the road, with some hurling it at police and others using it to smash windows of a bus.

South of the river in Peckham, teams of riot officers were seen charging at fleeing troublemakers after a major fire was started at a shop adjoining a Greggs bakery. A nearby bus was also set on fire while TV footage showed a trail of bins and an abandoned vehicle ablaze in Lewisham.

A string of buildings in Croydon, south London, were set on fire. Vast plumes of smoke could be seen rising over the area for miles. The violence spread to leafy suburbs including East Dulwich and Clapham where looters preyed on shops and caused widespread disruption.

Rioting also erupted in Ealing with gangs of youths starting fires in the street and vandalising local shops, according to eyewitnesses. The trouble flared near Ealing Broadway tube station with groups of around 30 masked rioters congregating on Haven Green.

Eyewitness Alan McCabe, a landlord from Croydon, said: "I have never seen such a disregard for human life. I hope they rot in hell. The grief they have caused people, the fear they have put in people's hearts, decent people who have done nothing to anyone."

The arrest count was soaring after a total of 153 arrests were made overnight on Sunday and early on Monday morning after boroughs in north, south and east London fell victim to the first round of copycat rampages following trouble in Tottenham on Saturday.

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