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Lynch mob of 200 vigilantes go on rampage over alleged paedophile gang

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rochdale-riot-230A MOB of about 200 youths targeted Asian-owned shops and police officers in a rampage linked to an on-going trial of an alleged child grooming gang.

The self-styled vigilantes descended on the  centre of the Heywood area of Rochdale, Greater Manchester, last night as trouble began.

Police were pelted with bricks and other missiles, cars vandalised and Asian shop owners abused.

A trial in Liverpool Crown Court has been told this week that some Rochdale take-away food outlets were used by men accused of grooming children for sex. But the shops are now under new ownership.

Zeeshan Khokhar, 23, owner of Bits n Pizza, a take-away on Market Street, only took over the shop seven weeks ago.

He said that although he had nothing to do with the events at the Liverpool court he was verbally abused, though his shop was not damaged.

He added: “It started about 4pm, kids banging on windows. They were shouting, "Why are you still open you dirty b*******?".

“The police came and told us to shut up shop. We are just doing business.

“Our white friends, they came here and they are protecting us and customers were standing outside our door.

“They said we have just come to keep an eye on you.

“But it’s not good, it hurts and we are very worried about what’s going to happen.”

A 35-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of a public order offence and police assault and a 14-year-old boy was arrested for causing danger to a public highway.

Police swarmed on the area as 999 calls were received.

Greater Manchester Police have said they will step up surveillance tonight.

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