Departing US marines are warned that next time 'every man and woman here will hold guns' The refugee camp in Baghdad that housed families who fled at the height of the fighting in Fallujah last month has been dismantled. And though some refugees are still staying with relatives in cities, Fallujah is returning to life. Extended families crammed into Volkswagens can be seen waiting at the checkpoint to the city of 300,000, which in the past month has become the symbol of Iraqi resistance to the occupation. There is much work to be done. The stench of decaying bodies is overpowering in areas of the city marked by fresh American bombardment. Shallow graves - dug in gardens by residents who feared they would be shot by US snipers on the way to the cemetery - are slowly being exhumed. 'We are still retrieving bodies from around the city,' said Adil Ali Hamdan, a doctor's assistant at Fallujah General Hospital. The five hospitals in the city are still counting casualties, but Mr Hamdan expects the final number to be about 3,000. 'Many of them are buried in their homes,' he said. 'We have 250 confirmed dead at our hospital so far. Twenty-five per cent of those are women and children. And no one has begun to count the casualties from the air strikes,' he said, referring the US raids that took place in the northern part of the city last week. As specified under the agreement for the withdrawal of US troops, security in Fallujah is being taken over by all-Iraqi defence corps. On Monday, Iraqi soldiers lackadaisically manned checkpoints inside the city, chatting with children or sitting in the shade. Some sported the uniforms worn by soldiers of Saddam Hussein's government. The US military's pullout from the city is in its final stages. In the Hay Al-Askariya quarter, where some of the heaviest fighting took place, US marines still occupy some houses, though they are escorting residents to their homes to check on their belongings. 'We expect to be out of here within a week,' said one marine as he and two others led 30-year-old Shakar Mahmoud back to his house. A rocket had left a crater in the middle of the street a few blocks away and many nearby homes were marked by gunfire, but Mr Mahmoud's house was undamaged. It had been thoroughly searched by the marines and was left in disarray, but he was pleased to find all of his belongings intact, including his satellite dish - a prized item in a country where possession of such an item could result in imprisonment little more than a year ago. 'We're surprised there hasn't been any looting. It wasn't like during OIF One,' said the marine, referring to the invasion of Baghdad in April last year, dubbed 'Operation Iraqi Freedom' by the military. The marines here have taken to referring to the fighting in Fallujah as 'OIF Two'. Other families returned to find no running water or electricity, but were nonetheless glad to be home. Falah Hassan, 35, returned on Monday with his family of 12. He sent his wife and children to stay with relatives in Baghdad a month ago and decided to leave himself 'when the situation became worse' 10 days ago. After the family poured out of their car and settled in the house, he issued dire warnings for the US military. 'The most important thing is that the Americans do not try to patrol the city again,' he said. 'There is a tribal system here, and we do not accept to be ruled by foreigners. The next time there is fighting, every man and woman here will hold guns.'