Thousands of Iraqis flocked to Saddam Hussein's hometown of Ouja on Sunday, where the former leader was buried in a religious compound 24 hours after his execution.
Dozens of relatives and other mourners, some of them crying and moaning, attended the interment shortly before dawn near Tikrit, 80 miles north of Baghdad. A large framed photograph of Saddam was propped up on a chair nearby, the AP reported.
An official close to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki told AFP that Saddam's body was flown early Sunday to Tikrit by the US military. "At 1:30 am Sunday, a US helicopter transported Saddam's body to Tikrit," he said.
His burial place is about 2 miles from the graves of his sons, Uday and Qusai, in the main town cemetery. The sons and a grandson died in a gunbattle with the American forces in Mosul in July 2003.
"The president, the leader, Saddam Hussein is a martyr and God will put him along with other martyrs," said Yahya al-Attawi, who led prayer at a towering Sunni mosque constructed by Saddam in Tikrit.