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Probe into 'shoot looters' orders

US federal authorities are investigating allegations that New Orleans police were told after Hurricane Katrina to "take the city back and shoot the looters".

Police spokesman Bob Young said federal officials asked police for information and for permission to interview officers about the alleged orders.

The US Attorney's office in New Orleans and FBI spokeswoman Sheila Thorne refused to comment on the investigation.

The August 2005 storm flooded 80% of the city, knocked out power and police communications and led to widespread chaos.

Looters were photographed carrying merchandise from New Orleans stores, gunfire could be heard in many areas of the city and residents were terrified of lawlessness.

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From Belfast Telegraph