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Last Updated: Sunday, 23 October 2005, 15:45 GMT 16:45 UK
Community condemns street clashes
Burnt out car in Lozells
Cars were left burnt out following the night of violence
Violent clashes in Birmingham have been condemned by community represatives in a joint statement.

A man in his 20s was killed, three more were stabbed and a police officer was injured during Saturday night's disturbances in the Lozells area.

The violence followed a day which saw a rally and a community meeting held over an alleged assault on a teenage girl.

Community leaders Justice Williams and Salma Yaqoob said: "We need to make progress together to bring about calm."

'Condemn crimes'

Witnesses have spoken of people being pulled out of cars and attacked and their vehicles set alight.

A statement read by community representations said: "We acknowledge community tensions but escalating violence is not the answer.

Asians and blacks are both the perpetrators and the victims of the crime
Justice Williams

"We utterly condemn those who are endeavouring to stir up hatred and discord, we condemn those who are perpetrating crimes in the name of the community."

Ms Williams added: "Asians and blacks are both the perpetrators and the victims of the crime."

The disturbances on Saturday started after a late afternoon public meeting at the New Testament Church of God over the alleged assault.

Ms Yaqoob said: "A rumour started off - we still don't know what basis it has. It might be real but we haven't had anyone come forward and said 'a crime has been committed' so the police have been put in a very difficult situation."

The confrontation between rioters and police began on Saturday evening and saw cars burned, property damaged, missiles thrown with rioters wearing masks, or covering their faces with hoods.

Another community representative, who was unnamed, called for an end to the violence.

Speaking at Sunday's news conference, he said: "This must be nipped in the bud today so there is no more loss of life or loss of property, or innocent people being cut up."


SEE ALSO:
Plea for calm after city clashes
23 Oct 05 |  West Midlands
Community with history of tension
23 Oct 05 |  West Midlands
All quiet on clash city's streets
23 Oct 05 |  West Midlands
In pictures: Birmingham clashes
23 Oct 05 |  In Pictures


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