LONDON (Reuters) - A man in his mid-20s was shot dead in London on Saturday, the latest in a series of fatal shootings that has fuelled public concern over gun crime and youth gangs.
The latest victim was attacked by two men in Hackney, east London, a police spokesman said.
In Manchester, an 18-year-old was shot in the back late on Friday. He was taken to hospital and his injuries were not said to be life threatening.
Two more men, aged 19 and 27, were shot and wounded as they sat in a car at traffic lights in the Longsight area of the city.
Chief Superintendent Dave Keller, of Greater Manchester Police, said overall levels of gun crime in the city have been falling, although there has been a rise in recent months.
"Clearly there are tensions in the area," he said. "This problem is only caused by a small number of individuals. We are actively targeting those individuals."
The two Manchester shootings were not thought to be linked, he said.
The fatal shootings of three youths in south London in less than two weeks have led to political soul-searching amid fears they reflect a general malaise in British society.
Prime Minister Tony Blair called the murders "horrific, shocking and ... tragic beyond belief".
But he rejected comments from Conservative leader David Cameron who said they showed society was "quite broken".
"This tragedy is not a metaphor for the state of British society, still less for the state of British youth today, the huge majority of whom, including in this part of London, are responsible, law-abiding people," Blair said.
MORE ARMED POLICE ON STREETS
Extra armed police are on the streets of the capital after the three teenagers were shot dead in south London.
Scotland Yard said three people were arrested overnight during searches of suspicious vehicles, although none was linked to the shootings.
Two men were held on suspicion of driving a lost or stolen car and another was detained over suspected drug possession, a police spokesman said.
The third victim in south London was Billy Cox, 15, who was found dying by his 13-year-old sister after being shot on Wednesday at their home in Clapham, a mixed area of expensive townhouses and sprawling housing estates.
That murder followed the shooting of schoolboy Michael Dosunmu, 15, in his bedroom in Peckham on February 6. Days earlier, James Smartt-Ford, 16, was gunned down a few miles away at Streatham ice rink.
Labour's Kate Hoey, MP for Vauxhall, said the violence was drug related.
"It's still rife on many, many of our estates," she told BBC radio. "The police do take greater action perhaps than they did some years ago in Lambeth, but it's still not always possible to get people."
Home Secretary John Reid said the government would consider strengthening laws to target gun crime.
Cox's father Tommy, a builder, said his son was "not perfect, but dearly loved". He pleaded with the community to get behind the police to catch his son's killers.
Well, first of all, I think the U.K. government has got everything completely wrong for at least the past decade, from my understanding. They have actually been punishing the innocent, while the criminals have actually been getting a stronger hand on the country. The right to own guns have been taken away, has that done any good? Duh, of course not, those who used to legally own guns, can not lawfully defend themselves now and many live in fear, while criminals still grow in number and obtain weapons whenever they want them. These recent killings I am sure are drug related and more resources need to be made to flush out these drug dealers and drug rings, until that happens, all these other crimes will continue to happen and grow.
Going back to the gun issue, allowing individuals to have guns doesn't necessarily mean there will be more crime, providing there's adequate controls in place. I do believe there could be better controls put in place and made law in the States, to prevent children getting hold of gunds in homes, but I do not believe taking the right away to bear arms reduces crime, I am certainlY not seeing that in the U.K., just a growing number of people living in fear on their own homes.
Another good example of laws gone wrong in the U.K. Someone breaks into your home and you attack the intruder, as you fear harm to yourself or others in your home, but now the good ol' government has changed the laws where it is you that is more likely to get in more trouble for attacking the intruder, rather the that person breaking into your home. It is no wonder that Britain is slowly but surely on a downward spiral to social decay, unless the country gets a Government with a backbone and stands up for the people that voted them in and not just out to look after themselves or eventually I am sure you'll see pockets of trouble around the country, similar to that that France has experience for the past couple of years, but on a larger scale, maybe not yet, but it it is just a matter of time.
In Colorado, they have a law called the "Make My Day" law, which basically says, if someone breaks into your home and you feel you life is being threatened, you have the right to defend yourself by whatever means and that means you have to use deadly force, you use it and why not, you didn't ask someone to break into your house did you? Last year, Florida, expanded on this law and the law says if you feel personally threatened in a public place, you can protect yourself. Of course there was an outcry by the do-gooders, saying there would be an increase in shooters and killings of innocent people. To date, surveys have showed people have felt saver in public and shootings have NOT and not one person has been shot in error. So, although the United States has room to improve in the aspect of gun safety within the home, I feel in general, people feel safer and have better rights for protecting themselves than the British government has given their people and is probably the worst of all the European countries at the current time. Sad time, sad times.