Saddam’s tomb destroyed in Tikrit fighting

The tomb of ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein has been almost completely levelled in fighting near Tikrit, the BBC reports.

Footage filmed by the Associated Press shows all that remains of the once-lavish mausoleum in the village of al-Awja are pillars that held up the roof.

Iraqi forces and Iranian-backed Shia militia are battling to drive Islamic State (IS) militants from Tikrit.

Last year, the local Sunni population said they had removed Saddam’s body and taken it to an unknown location.

The capture of the tomb came as fighting intensified north and south of Tikrit on Sunday as Iraqi security forces vowed to reach the city centre within 48 hours.

The footage shows the mausoleum, south of the city, reduced to concrete rubble.

Poster-sized pictures of Saddam that once covered it have been replaced with Shia militia flags and pictures of militia leaders, including Iranian General Qassem Soleimani who advises the Shia militias.

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