The bodies of Saddam Hussein’s sons and a grandson have been exhumed and reburied near the ousted Iraqi leader’s grave in his hometown north of Baghdad.
Saddam’s sons, Odai, 39, and Qusai, 37, and his 14-year-old grandson Mustafa died on July 22, 2003, in a gun battle with US troops in the northern city of Mosul and had been buried in the main tribal cemetery in Tikrit, 80 miles north of the capital.
Sunni leaders of Saddam’s tribe decided to move the remains yesterday to the courtyard of the ornate building in which the ousted leader was laid to rest after he was hanged on December 30 after being convicted for crimes against humanity.
“We wanted to put the bodies of Saddam’s family in one place,” said Thaer Ismael of Saddam’s tribe.
The three bodies were buried in the courtyard near the graves of Saddam’s half brother and former intelligence chief Barzan Ibrahim, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, former head of Iraq’s Revolutionary Court, who also were sent to the gallows in January for the killings of 148 Shiites in the town of Dujail in 1982.
The five burial mounds were covered with Iraqi flags as people prayed next to them during the service in Ouja.