AMARAH, Iraq (AP) - Looters ravaged a former British base Friday, a day after the camp was turned over to Iraqi troops, taking everything from doors and window frames to corrugated roofing and metal pipes, authorities said.
About 1,200 British troops had been stationed at Camp Abu Naji in Amarah, 200 miles southeast of Baghdad, and the base had come under almost daily attack. The troops pulled out Thursday to redeploy along the border with Iran to crack down on weapons smuggling.
Shortly after the troops pulled out, Iraqi police managed to disperse looters by firing warning shots into the air, said Dhaffar Jabbar, spokesman for the Maysan provincial governor's office. But the looters returned Friday.
"The British forces left Abu Naji and the locals started looting everything," 1st Lt. Rifaat Taha Yaseen of the Iraqi army's 10th Division told AP Television News. "They took everything from the buildings."
When we finally leave Iraq, this is more than likely what will happen to our areas of operation. It will be as if we had never been there. Iraq can then proceed with it's religious squabbling which has been going on for over a thousand years. Whichever group gains control will then squelch the others and the area will stabilize until the next confrontation. We don't understand them and we never will. We should just get out of their way and let them figure out what they want.
But, then, that's just my opinion based on historical fact.