Birmingham riot
Police officers in riot gear guard detain a man after shops were looted in Birmingham, central England, August 8, 2011. Reuters

The rioting and disorder in Great Britain has claimed at least three more lives.

Three Asian men died Tuesday night in Birmingham when a car ran over them as they sought to protect their property from looters.

"Three men have died following a road collision in the Winson Green area of Birmingham which detectives are treating as murder,” said West Midlands Police in a statement.

“Three men were taken to hospital where two later died from their injuries. A third man was in a critical condition but confirmed dead at around 6.30am. West Midlands Police have launched a murder enquiry, arrested one man in connection with the incident and recovered a vehicle nearby which will be examined by forensics experts."

The men, aged 20, 30 and 31 were taken to City Hospital where about 200 people from the local Asian community sat vigil.

Birmingham police have arrested a 32-year-old on suspicion of murder in connection with the deaths.

The city has convulsed with rioting for two straight days, prompting authorities to call in riot police.

"My instinct was to help the three people, I did not know who they were but they had been injured,” a father of one of the victims told BBC.

"I was helping the first man and someone from behind told me my son was behind me. So I started CPR on my own son, my face was covered in blood, my hands were covered in blood. Why, why?"

The father added about his son: "He was a very good lad, a good man starting at the beginning of his life and had his whole life ahead of him. I've got no words to describe why he was taken and why this has happened and what's happening to the whole of England. It makes no sense why people are behaving in this way and taking the lives of three innocent people."

Another witness spoke of the three men who died: "People came out of prayers [at the local mosque] and they were protecting the area. They were standing on the side of the road and the car just came and ran them over. They weren't standing outside a mosque, a temple, a synagogue or a church - they were standing outside shops where everybody goes. They were protecting the community as a whole."

Meanwhile, Andrew Watson, the Bishop of Aston (Birmingham), said he attended a meeting with local MP Shabana Mahmood and 40 men from the Asian community.

"There was a mix of voices," he said. "Some were saying we mustn't rise up but there was some talk of reprisals. The community is in shock. The meeting helped, it was good the MP responded so quickly and we could talk to the community."

On the whole, West Midlands police have arrested about 300 people since the disturbances began.