Violence and looting spread to new areas of London on Monday – and to a second major city – as shops and cars were set ablaze and authorities struggled to contain the spiraling disorder on a third night of rioting in Britain's capital, which will host next summer's Olympic Games.
The worst unrest in London in decades saw buildings, vehicles and garbage dumps set alight, stores burglarized and police officers pelted with bottles and fireworks, as groups of young people rampaged through neighborhoods across the capital.
Fire crews battled to control a raging blaze that swept through a 100-year-old family run furniture store in Croydon, in south London, and forced nearby homes to be evacuated.
In the nation's central city of Birmingham, dozens of people attacked shops in a main retail district – spreading the chaos beyond London for the first time since violence broke out on Saturday night.
As authorities struggled to keep pace with the unrest, Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer vacation in Italy and will convene a meeting of the government's crisis committee on Tuesday to toughen the response to the escalating violence.