Image: Saddam's hiding place
Chip Somodevilla  /  Abaca file
A U.S. soldier shows news media the small underground bunker where former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein was found in Ad Dawr, Iraq, last December.
updated 2/3/2004 11:32:04 AM ET 2004-02-03T16:32:04

U.S. authorities are planning to seal the underground bunker where former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was captured in December, a military spokeswoman said Tuesday.

A team of Army engineers from the Tikrit-based 4th Infantry Division, chiefly responsible for Saddam’s capture, had been instructed to study the best way to cover up the hole, Maj. Josslyn Aberle said.

The infamous bunker hole will likely be covered up with concrete, she said.

“We are not going to destroy it, but rather cover it in case we need access to it in the future, said Aberle, who is with the Tikrit-based 4th Infantry Division.

Saddam was captured on Dec. 13 after nearly eight months on the run.

Aberle did not say when work would begin at the hole, situated in the small farming village of Adwar, a short drive from Saddam’s hometown of Tikrit.

Saddam escaped to the bunker when he heard patrolling U.S. forces pass by. It is next to a small cement-floored bedroom, an outdoor kitchen and a humble bathroom.

Since the former dictator’s capture, hundreds of U.S. soldiers and visiting foreign officials have gone to Adwar to have their picture taken next to — or inside — the bunker.

Authorities are believed to want to seal up the infamous hole to prevent it from coming a larger tourist attraction in the future.

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