Entries in Looting (5)


Saddam Hussein's Dinnerware Returned by NYC Restaurant

US Attorney's Office(NEW YORK) -- Officials in New York have returned to Iraqi diplomats dinnerware once belonging to Saddam Hussein and the family of King Faisal II that was looted, then illegally imported to the United States and sold on eBay.

Nineteen dinner and salad plates, some which contained the official seal of Iraq, were being used at the Park Avenue Autumn restaurant as part of an art exhibit. The plates, officials say, were returned to Iraqi representatives at the United Nations on Tuesday.

“After being advised of the illegal status of the Iraqi Plates, Creative Time, the owner of the Iraqi Plates, agreed to voluntarily relinquish them to the custody of the United States Attorney’s Office, so they could be returned to their rightful owner, the Republic of Iraq,” the office of Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said Wednesday.

News of the discovery comes on the same day President Obama marked the end of the war in Iraq with an address to troops at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. Wednesday also marks eight years to the day that Saddam Hussein was discovered hiding in a spider hole and captured by U.S. forces.

The items are just a few among a large collection of artifacts that were stolen from Baghdad palaces and museums when U.S. tanks rumbled into the country’s capital back in early 2003.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


U.K. Riots: Three Dead as London Police Go on Offensive

LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- The rioting and looting gripping England has turned deadly as it enters a fifth day Wednesday, with three men killed by a hit-and-run driver in Birmingham.

Reports from neighbors indicate that the men were attempting to protect their area from rioters when they were struck by the car.

"Three men -- aged 31, 30, and 20 -- were on foot in Dudley Road in the Winson Green area of the city when they were in collision with a car.  All later died from their injuries in hospital," read a statement on the West Midlands Police's website.  "Detectives...will today question a 32-year-old man on suspicion of murder."

In London, Scotland Yard has gone on the offensive in the streets, adding on Tuesday an additional 10,000 officers who have created an eerie calm as night fell on the capital; the show of force apparently stifled the rioting.

Officers continued to arrest those involved in disorder both on the street and as a result of detective work, according to a statement from Scotland Yard, which rejected claims that officers were initially instructed not to make arrests.

"It is simply wrong to suggest officers were initially told not to actively arrest those involved in disorder," the statement read.  "As always the decision to make an arrest is down to the individual officer on the ground who must weigh up whether it is appropriate bearing in mind risks of further inflaming the crowd, wider operational requirements and our ability to gather evidence to arrest later."

In a city bristling with security cameras, pictures of looters began appearing in the newspapers and on TV in an attempt to identify more suspects.

Police had vowed to hit the streets in greater numbers as night fell and there were no new reported hotspots in the city as of late Tuesday evening.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Embassy has issued a statement warning Americans about London violence and has reminded them of common sense practices including avoiding civil unrest and not engaging with those causing disturbance.

The violence that began in London on Saturday has spread across England, with Manchester and Nottingham reportedly being hit hard by rioters, with roving gangs of young people setting buildings and cars on fire, looting stores, and terrorizing the public.  A gang of rioters also firebombed a police station in Nottingham on Tuesday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


British PM: 'We Will Take Every Action Necessary' to Quell Riots

Peter Macdiarmid/WPA Pool/Getty Images(LONDON) -- As violence persisted in Britain Tuesday, this time breaking out in Manchester, Birmingham and other cities, British Prime Minister David Cameron vowed on Wednesday to "take every action necessary to bring order back to our streets."

"We will do whatever is necessary to restore law and order unto our streets.  Every contingency is being looked at it.  Nothing is off the table," Cameron said.

The prime minister announced that police have been authorized to use rubber bullets to quell the rioters that have been looting and setting fires across London and neighboring cities since the weekend.  The violence began after Mark Duggan, a 29-year-old father of four with reported links to London gangs, was shot and killed by officers in London's Scotland Yard last Thursday.

Discussing the so-called Cobra emergency planning group, Cameron said water cannons will also be utilized to break up the rioting, if necessary.

"We agreed at Cobra that while they're not currently needed, we now have in place contingency plans for water cannons to be available at 24 hours notice," he said.

These latest measures in security come a day after Scotland Yard deployed an additional 10,000 officers on the streets of London Tuesday night.

So far, 770 people have been arrested in London -- including one 11-year-old boy.  Between Saturday night and Tuesday morning, 525 arrests were made -- 310 of which were overnight on Monday.  Across the country, a total of 1,100 arrests have been made.

"We will not put up with this in our country.  We will not allow a culture of fear to exist on our streets," Cameron said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Egypt Museum Official: Looters Looked Like Raiders of the Lost Ark

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(CAIRO) -- Antiquities officials have done a full inventory of the Egyptian Museum, which was hit during anti-government protests on January 28. Antiquities Minister Zahi Hawass says looters escaped with several items, including two gilded wooden statues of Tutankhamen and approximately 16 other valuable artifacts.

“They broke the windows and they come with ropes,” he said, “about 15 feet down and they entered the museum.”

“Those people looking like Raiders of the Lost Ark,” Hawass said. “Treasure hunters. People who have nothing in their mind except gold, gold, gold!”

Hawass says about 70 artifacts were damaged by looters who he believes were looking for a red material from the throats of mummies that Egyptian legend says can provide supernatural powers.

“That, they believe, if you have it, you can bring the djinn and the devils back and you can rule the world,” Hawass said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐


Looting, Arson, Freed Inmates Plague Streets of Egypt

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(CAIRO) -- Cairo and other Egyptian cities appeared to be descending into anarchy Sunday as gangs of young men were free to loot and commit arson amid a vanishing police presence.

Egyptian police, especially in Cairo, virtually disappeared from the streets late Friday, leaving a huge vacuum in security that was taken advantage of by looters and vandals.

Across Egypt, buildings were set on fire and clashes continued between anti-government protesters and the police.

Egyptians woke up Sunday with several government buildings still smoldering and thousands of anti-government protesters remaining camped out in the main square.

Law and order broke down completely as gangs of looters and vandals stormed government buildings, stealing electronic equipment and office supplies, breaking precious artifacts in the Egyptian Museum and attempting to rob luxury homes.

Gangs attacked at least four jails across Egypt before dawn, helping free hundreds of Muslim militants and thousands of other inmates as security forces disappeared.  Cairo residents boarded up homes and vigilante groups have sprung up, arming themselves with guns and bats to protect their neighborhoods.

Some police forces could be seen returning Monday to Cairo's neighborhoods, where fearful residents remain huddled in their homes.´╗┐

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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