Looting in Iraq's Tikrit after City Retaken

Pro-government militiamen were seen looting shops in the center of the Iraqi city of Tikrit on Wednesday after retaking it from the Islamic State jihadist group in a month-long battle.

The militiamen took items including clothing, shampoo and shaving cream from two shops in central Tikrit before driving away, witnesses said.

Two trucks were also seen leaving Tikrit loaded with new tires, a generator and a mirror that fell out and shattered on the highway.

The localized incidents follow concerns over the conduct of the myriad militiamen now in the city.

As they have in other areas, militiamen also spray painted the names of their groups on houses and shops in the city, including on unbroken windows that had survived the fighting.

Baghdad turned to Shiite militias to bolster its flagging forces after Islamic State jihadists led a sweeping offensive that overran large areas north and west of Baghdad last year.

They have played a major role in successful operations against IS, but have also been accused of abuses including summary executions, kidnappings.

Human Rights Watch said earlier this month that both security forces and militias "engaged in deliberate destruction of civilian property" after breaking a months-long siege of the town of Amerli last year.

Source: Agence France Presse

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