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Iraqi premier orders prosecution for looters in Tikrit

Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, left, listens to Lt. Gen. Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi, Iraqi forces commander in Tikrit during battle between the Iraqi security forces and Islamic State group extremists in Tikrit, 130 kilometers (80 miles) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, March 26, 2015. Iraqi troops started the final phase of an offensive to recapture Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit on Thursday, a military official said, just hours after the United States launched airstrikes on the Islamic State held city. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, left, listens to Lt. Gen. Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi, Iraqi forces commander in Tikrit during battle between the Iraqi security forces and Islamic State group extremists in Tikrit, 130 kilometers (80 miles) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, March 26, 2015. Iraqi troops started the final phase of an offensive to recapture Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit on Thursday, a military official said, just hours after the United States launched airstrikes on the Islamic State held city. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi says the military will begin arresting and prosecuting anyone who loots abandoned properties in the newly-recaptured city of Tikrit.

Saddam Hussein’s hometown was recaptured by Iraqi forces Wednesday, ending a nearly 10-month occupation by the Islamic State militant group. Most of the city’s homes remain abandoned and cases of looting from homes and businesses were reported within hours of the military victory.

In a statement Friday, al-Abadi said security forces must ensure that normalcy is restored quickly so that the city’s residents can return to their homes.

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