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Notting Hill Carnival tests police

More than 6500 police were deployed to a Caribbean culture festival in London amid fears of rioting.

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A news photographer has captured the dramatic aftermath of a stabbing at London's Notting Hill Carnival.

The series of photographs show a man fleeing the scene carrying a knife, while a bystander laden with shopping bags tries in vain to trip him up.

The stabbing victim can be seen in the background bleeding from his stomach.

A man flees the scene carrying a knife as a bystander tries in vain to trip him up after a stabbing at London's Notting Hill Festival.

A man flees carrying a knife as a bystander tries in vain to trip him up after a stabbing at London's Notting Hill Festival. Photo: Getty Images

He remains in a serious condition with abdominal wounds following the attack, which came despite an unprecedented police operation amid fears of trouble after riots across the city earlier this month.

Despite the stabbing, Scotland Yard said the event was "very peaceful" as a record number of more than 6500 police officers patrolled the streets for the carnival's second day.

Police said the victim - believed to be in his 20s - was found with stab wounds to the abdomen and hand on Ladbroke Grove and taken to a central London hospital. Three men have been arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm.

Blood can be seen on the victim's T-shirt in the immediate aftermath of the stabbing.

Blood can be seen on the victim's T-shirt in the immediate aftermath of the stabbing. Photo: Getty Images

So far 214 people have been arrested over the carnival's two days. Last year a total of 243 arrests were made.

The festivities appear to have been largely peaceful as hundreds of thousands of revellers descended on London for Europe's biggest street festival.

There was a larger police presence on Monday after Sunday's children's day with the number of officers on the streets increased from 5500 to 6500.

The victim receives first-aid after collapsing following the attack.

The victim receives first-aid after collapsing following the attack. Photo: Getty Images

Police chiefs targeted troublemakers by making more than 40 pre-emptive arrests last week and agreeing an earlier finish time of 7pm local time for both days.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said Notting Hill's streets emptied quickly after the close, adding that a visible police presence would remain until the early hours to disperse any groups that are gathered.

He said: "So far the event has been very peaceful, there have been a small number of isolated incidents that police responded to and resolved quickly. We believe the early finish has had a positive effect on how the event has gone so far."

Dancers perform at the Notting Hill Carnival in London. Click for more photos

Europe's biggest street festival

Dancers perform at the Notting Hill Carnival in London.

Speaking during a visit on Monday, London Mayor Boris Johnson defended the decision to allow the festivities despite worries following the riots.

He said: "I thought it was very important that we should go ahead. Obviously there was quite a few people who wrote to me saying 'for heaven's sake, scrap it'.

"But we said 'no, that would be wrong, because that would be an admission of defeat, if you like, after what happened earlier in the month'."

Mr Johnson also expressed his pride at how the police operation was handling the carnival and the way in which revellers had respected the earlier closing time imposed.

He said: "Obviously the police have got some tough calls to make but I think people are very helpful, they want to respect the police's advice if they possibly can and I just want everybody to continue to enjoy themselves in the way that they're doing, in a sensible way showing off London at its best."

PA