England's urban rioting claimed its first life Wednesday, sparking another battle between police and hundreds of black and white youths using gasoline bombs, wooden staves, and bricks in the Toxteth area of Liverpool.
During the third straight night of rioting -- the worst violence in the city since Britain's riots earlier this month -- police said they accidentally struck and killed a Toxteth man with one of several Land-Rovers that raced among the youths in an attempt to prevent crowds from forming. Youths alleged that the police deliberately hit him.
Officials report 32 policemen were injured and 18 people were arrested in the rioting, which lasted well after midnight. Environment Minister Michael Heseltine was in Liverpool investigating causes of the riots. The government said hooliganism is the main cause, but it had just announced a plan to give work experience to unemployed school dropouts. As well as unemployment, bad housing, and social conditions in the inner cities, racial tension and resentment over policing methods have been suggested as cau ses of the urban troubles.