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Saddam Hussein's Tomb Ruined As Iraqi Forces Fight ISIL to Retake Tikrit

© AP Photo / Khalid MohammedThe tomb of Saddam Hussein
The tomb of Saddam Hussein - Sputnik International
The once lavish tomb of Iraq's executed leader, Saddam Hussein, has been turned into a pile of rubble as Iraqi security forces try to retake Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, still partially controlled by the Islamic State, in a bid to drive the radical Sunnis out of the country.

Not much remains of the complex, located in the village of al-Awja, except for the columns that held up the roof. It is hard to say whether the tomb of the Sunni leader was destroyed by the Islamic State or the Shia militias, assisting Iraqi security forces. The latter vowed on Sunday to free Tikrit in less than 72 hours.

Militants seized Tikrit and other cities in northern Iraq in a blitz offensive last June. Two months later they said that Hussein's mausoleum was completely destroyed. Witness reports did not support those claims. According to local residents, Islamists ransacked the complex but did not cause any significant damage to the tomb.

According to unconfirmed reports, Hussein's body was transported to an unknown location by his loyalists last year.

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