Police in Sydney will be given tough new powers to crack down on rioters who have rampaged through the city's southern beachside suburbs for two nights, New South Wales state leader Morris Iemma announced Tuesday. "New South Wales parliament will be recalled for a special emergency sitting on Thursday morning to provide police with extra powers to deal with criminals and thugs who are causing disturbances across our city," Iemma told reporters.
He was talking after a second night of race riots left seven people injured and 11 in police custody as youths in a convoy of cars rampaged through streets smashing store windows and attacking parked cars.
The men involved appeared to be of Middle Eastern origin, indicating that they were taking revenge for a riot Sunday during which a mob of 5,000 white men, many drunk and wrapped in Australian flags, attacked several people of Middle Eastern appearance near Cronulla beach. New South Wales Police Minister Carl Scully said rival groups needed to bring an end to the violence.
"They feel slighted and insulted and believe they're entitled to respond to the provocation of those drunken yobbos on Sunday," Scully told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.
"(But) they're not entitled to respond in a violent, criminal manner which is what they're doing and the police will continue to round them up while they do so", reports the AP.