Unprecedented crime wave sweeps Baghdad - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Unprecedented crime wave sweeps Baghdad

(Baghdad, Iraq-AP) Aug. 8, 2003 - The Baghdad police don't have official crime statistics, but the number of bodies at the city's morgue says it all.

Baghdad is in the midst of an unprecedented crime wave. The city morgue handled 470 gunshot deaths in July.

In the same month a year ago, it recorded ten gun deaths.

The morgue handles all violent or suspicious deaths.

Baghdad's acting police chief says there were criminals before the war, but he says everything changed afterward.

Officials say a number of factors could have led to the increase in gun deaths. Saddam Hussein released many criminals from prison just before the war. Some people may be settling scores from the Saddam era.

Iraqis also say American soldiers are part of the problem. Many accuse the soldiers of opening fire randomly when they feel threatened.

Posted 10:15pm by Eva Pilgrim

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