The tomb of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein has been almost completely leveled in an attack launched by militants of the so-called ‘Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’ (ISIL) takfiri group.
Iraqi forces and popular committees forces are battling to drive ISIL operatives from Tikrit.
Last year, the local population said they had removed Saddam’s body and taken it to an unknown location.
Iraqi military leaders said ISIL put up a strong fight for the village, and left many bombs.
“This is one of the areas where ISIL massed the most because Saddam’s grave is here. The ISIL set an ambush for us by planting bombs around.” said Captain Yasser Numa, an official with the popular committees.
ISIL said last August that the tomb had been completely destroyed but local officials denied this, saying it had been ransacked and suffered only minor damage.