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US Commanders See Restoration of Civil Order in Iraq

U.S. Central Command says it is encouraged by scenes of jubilation on the streets of Baghdad as the last vestiges of Saddam Hussein's control of the city appear to have crumbled. A military spokesman says American forces are concerned about looting in the Iraqi capital but they say civil order will soon be re-established.

Central Command spokesman Brigadier General Vince Brooks told reporters that the looting in several areas of Baghdad is the result of pent-up frustration among people who have been oppressed for years.

"We believe that this will settle down in due time," said General Brooks. "It has already begun to settle down in Basra. Some of this occurs as the result of a vacuum that's created in the interim period between the departure of the regime, or the perception of the departure of the regime, and the establishment of conditions that move on the path of normalcy."

General Brooks says the people of Baghdad recognize that the end of Saddam Hussein's government is near.

Celebrations broke out in the capital, especially in Shiite Muslim neighborhoods, after fighting subsided overnight. People ripped down pictures of Saddam Hussein and looted government buildings of furniture and appliances.