Wed, Aug 29, 2007 - Page 6 News List

UK investigates teen shootings

AFP , LONDON

London's Metropolitan Police were investigating yesterday shootings of two teenagers, as well as a stabbing, on the final day of the Notting Hill Carnival.

The incidents marred what police described as a mostly peaceful carnival -- Europe's biggest street festival -- and comes a recent set of high-profile shootings of teenagers.

One of the two youths shot was a 17-year-old found by police, bleeding from his shoulder, who were answering reports of shots being fired in the Notting Hill area at around 7:30pm on Monday.

Police have made an arrest in connection with the shooting of the boy, who has not yet been identified.

At about 9pm, a 14-year-old boy, also unidentified, was shot in the leg at the carnival, though it is believed he will be released from hospital later yesterday.

No one has yet been arrested in connection with that shooting.

Also in the area of the carnival, a man in his 20s was stabbed, though his injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

In a separate incident, police arrested three people in connection with the attempted murder of a man at the carnival on Sunday, a spokesman said. The man, who was taken to a nearby hospital, was in stable condition on Monday.

The carnival has been marred by violence in past years. Two men were murdered in 2000, and memories of 1976 riots still linger.

London's Metropolitan Police deployed around 11,000 officers this year, and were using metal detectors at Underground railway stations to net knives and guns.

Ahead of the carnival, police said they had arrested 21 people they suspected might cause trouble at the event, for a variety of offences.

In all, police said there were around 200 arrests over the duration of the carnival, compared to last year's 238 arrests.

The festival was originally launched in 1959 by post-World War II immigrants from what were then Britain's Caribbean colonies, as a community act of defiance following ugly race riots.

It was held in various parts of London before settling in Notting Hill in 1964.

The shootings come just days after 11-year-old Rhys Jones was fatally shot in a parking lot, an incident that sparked much soul-searching in his home town of Liverpool and across Britain over the apparent rise of gun crime.

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