Iraqi children gather at the tomb of Saddam Hussein near Tikrit in 2007. / AP file
BAGHDAD (AP) - Iraqi soldiers have clashed with militants from the Islamic State group in the hometown of late President Saddam Hussein, damaging his tomb.
In a statement posted on a jihadi website frequently used by the group, it claimed that Hussein's tomb has been destroyed in the fighting.
A government official in Ouja confirmed the clashes Tuesday but said the tomb suffered only minor damage. He spoke anonymously for safety concerns.
Meanwhile, two amateur videos have also emerged purportedly showing varying levels of damage to the tomb.
The authenticity of the statement or the video could not be immediately verified.
Iraq is facing its worst crisis since the U.S. military pulled out of the country in 2011, as militants hold territory in the north and west.
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