Saddam's grave monument destroyed, allies moved his corpse

Militia linked to the central government of Baghdad set Saddam Hussein's grave monument on fire.

Saddam's grave monument destroyed, allies moved his corpse

World Bulletin / News Desk

A militia linked to the central government in Baghdad has destroyed the grave monument of executed former leader Saddam Hussein in Tikrit city.

Falah en-Neda, the son of a sheikh from the same al-Beycat tribe as Saddam Hussein, told Anadolu Agency on Monday that the militia seized the village of Al-Awja, located in the city of Tikrit, the birthplace of Saddam Hussein.

Neda said Hussein’s mausoleum was set on fire by the army and militia and then collapsed.

Executed former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein's Sunni tribal allies moved his body from a family plot eight months ago, fearful that Shi'ite militias would harm it, a tribal leader told Reuters on Wednesday.

"We had moved the body eight months ago to a safer place. We were afraid something would happen to him. Our fears proved true," said the tribal leader who asked not to be named.

"There were four of us that took up this mission. We could not move the bodies of Saddam's sons. We are afraid someone will desecrate those graves."

The tribal chief would not give details on where Saddam's body was taken. "We moved him to a place far from the hands of his enemies," he said. "Isn't it enough for them that they killed him once. Now they are afraid of his body."

Saddam was hanged in 2006 after being convicted of crimes against humanity for the killing of 148 Shi'ite villagers after a failed assassination bid in 1982.

He was buried in his birthplace of Awja, 150 km (95 miles) north of Baghdad.

Saddam was buried in the dead of the night beside his sons.

The tribal leader said he and other Sunnis were looking into reports that militias had desecrated the graves of Uday and Qusay, who were killed by U.S. troops in 2003 six months before their father was captured, and were despised by Shi'ites.

Security sources also said that armed groups led by Islamic State – ISID – attacked the army and militia Tuesday morning in an attempt to regain control over Awja, resulting in clashes.

No information was given about the amount of dead and wounded in the clashes and ISID has not made an official announcement regarding the incident.

ISID has seized large areas in north-western Iraq since June 10, including Mosul and Tikrit city.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Ağustos 2014, 16:59