Three killed by car during riots in UK's Birmingham: police

LONDON, Aug 10, 2011 (AFP) - Three men died Wednesday after being hit by a car during riots in the central English city of Birmingham, officials said, amid reports that they died while trying to protect their community from looters.

Police said they had arrested a man and launched a murder inquiry after the incident which happened at around 1:00 am (0000 GMT) as Britain's second biggest city suffered from another night of riots.

AFP - Youths steal electrical goods from a store in Birmingham, central England, on August 9, 2011

Paramedics said they found around 80 people at the scene after the men were hit by the car. Two of the men were pronounced dead at the scene and the third died later in hospital.

The BBC reported that the men who died had just come out of a mosque and were protecting their neighbourhood during the riots.

Around 200 people from Birmingham's Asian community gathered outside the hospital where the victims were taken and that riot police were also stationed here, the BBC reported.

There was no immediate confirmation of those details from police.

Britain has been hit by four nights of violent rioting. London was quieter on Tuesday night but the unrest spread to other cities including Manchester in the northwest and Birmingham.

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