IS militants bomb nine of Saddam Hussein’s palaces

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Baghdad: Islamic State (IS) militants Thursday blew up nine luxurious palaces of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in his hometown of Tikrit, a security source said.

The militants planted bombs in the palaces and detonated them, the source told Xinhua news agency on condition of anonymity.

There were a total of 76 palaces, smaller villas, artificial lakes and date orchards, most of which were built by the Tigris river, stretching from northern Tikrit, some 170 km north of Iraq’s capital Baghdad, to Saddam’s village of Awja, some 12 km south of the city.

After the US-led invasion in 2003, occupation forces operated from former presidential sites before they handed them over to Iraqi authorities who then used these as government offices and military bases.

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