Saddam’s tomb suffers extensive damage in Iraq fighting

The tomb of Iraq’s late dictator Saddam Hussein was virtually leveled in heavy clashes between militants from the Islamic State group and Iraqi security forces in a fight for control of the city of Tikrit. Fighting intensified to the north and south of Saddam Hussein’s hometown Sunday as Iraqi security forces vowed to reach the center of Tikrit within 48 hours. Associated Press video from the village of Ouja, just south of Tikrit, shows all that remains of Hussein’s once-lavish tomb are the support columns that held up the roof.

The IS militants’ set an ambush for us by planting bombs around the palace.

Captain Yasser Nu’ma, a Shiite militia spokesman

The extremist Islamic State group has controlled Tikrit since June, when it waged its lightening offensive that saw Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, come under their control. The group claimed in August that the tomb had been completely destroyed, but local officials said it was just ransacked and burned, but suffered only minor damage.