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BBC radio car set on fire in Salford riot

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Riots taking place in Hackney, East London

© PA Images / Lefteris Pitarakis/AP

A BBC radio car was set ablaze last night in Salford as the media tried to report on the looting and rioting that had spread from London to the North of England.

Greater Manchester Police arrested 113 people overnight as thousands of youths hit the streets of Manchester and Salford, looting shops, attacking police and burning cars.

During the disturbance, a BBC Radio Manchester car and another vehicle belonging to a journalist were torched in Salford, according to BBC News.

BBC North West Tonight's political correspondent Arif Ansari also said that a cameraman was attacked in Salford as crowds surged into a Bargain Booze store and The Money Shop.

A spokeswoman for BBC News confirmed that one of the corporation's cars had been set on fire. She added: "It is a very difficult story to cover."

The violence started at Salford Shopping City on Tuesday afternoon, where a group of rioters attacked police and set fire to shops.

Councillor Pat Karney, of Manchester City Council, told the BBC that the violence and rioting marked "one of the worst days that Manchester has ever seen".

On Monday, journalists and cameramen from Sky, the BBC, ITN and CNN were attacked in various areas of London by rioters and looters on a third consecutive night of violence in the capital.

Sky News and the BBC have since relied in part on footage taken by members of the public, often on mobile phones, to cover the events in the north.

Writing on Twitter, BBC News Channel controller Kevin Backhurst defended the corporation's coverage of the riots in Salford and Manchester yesterday.

He pointed out that the BBC and other news providers had "had vehicles and people attacked", and working within the riots was "very hard to be fair".

Also today, it was reported that police investigating the riots are attempting to track down the organisers based on their BlackBerry Messenger communications.

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