Looting reported in Iraqi city of Tikrit after ISIS forces driven out

Story highlights

  • "The city was out of control," a senior Iraqi security official says
  • Iraqi forces, aided by Shiite militiamen, drove out ISIS forces on Wednesday
  • The official says looting was by militias and individuals from Iraq's army

Baghdad, Iraq (CNN)Looting broke out in Tikrit hours after ISIS forces were driven out, a senior Iraqi security official in the city told CNN.

The official said he witnessed at least 20 houses set on fire and more than 50 shops looted, damaged or burned. Security forces could not stop trucks loaded with looted goods from fleeing, he said.
    "The city was out of control," he said. "No plans were made for what to do with the city after it was liberated from ISIS."
    Iraqi forces, aided by Shiite militiamen, took control of the northern city Wednesday. Much of Tikrit's population is Sunni Muslim and officials feared reprisals by the Shite militias. The militias -- called al Hashed al Shabi or Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) -- were trained, equipped and are led by Iranian military advisers.
    The senior Iraqi security official accused members of the PMU, as well as a few individuals from Iraq's own security forces, of being responsible for the destruction and looting.
    An investigative committee formed by the Iraqi Federal Police Intelligence is "now in Tikrit checking all these violations and gathering information to submit to the proper authorities," the official said.
    Friday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered security and military forces in Tikrit to deal with violations, sabotage and looting "carried out by gangs that want to offend victories achieved by Iraqi forces and PMU."
    Al-Abadi called on troops stationed in Tikrit to capture those who commit such acts and to restore order to the city.
    Also Friday, a PMU spokesperson said the group was pulling its forces out of Tikrit and said Iraqi security forces would be responsible for securing the city.