IMAGE: Saddam's hiding place
Chris Hondros  /  Getty Images file
U.S. engineers sealed the entrance to Saddam Hussein's final hiding place in Adwar, Iraq, on Saturday.
updated 2/14/2004 10:50:09 AM ET 2004-02-14T15:50:09

U.S. Army engineers have sealed the underground bunker where former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was captured to prevent it from becoming a tourist attraction, a military spokesman said Saturday.

Soldiers lowered a 300 pound slab of concrete over the hole Feb. 4, said Master Sgt. Robert Cargie, a spokesman for the 4th Infantry Division.

Saddam was captured on Dec. 13 in the bunker in the small farming village of Adwar, a short drive from his hometown of Tikrit.

Cargie said the hole was sealed to “limit human traffic” to the area. Since his capture, a steady stream of U.S. soldiers, journalists and visiting foreign officials have traveled to Adwar to have their picture taken next to — or inside — the bunker.

Cargie said that the cover could be removed if access to the hole was needed in the future.

“It was put in place to allow time for future decisions to be made,” he said without elaborating.

Humble spot
Saddam, who had evaded U.S. forces for nearly eight months, escaped to the bunker when he heard U.S. patrols pass by. It is next to a small cement-floored bedroom, an outdoor kitchen and a humble bathroom, which all remain in place, Cargie said.

U.S. officials had hoped his capture would help break Iraqi resistance to the occupation, but attacks have continued unabated, especially in the “Sunni Triangle” region of the Iraq to the north and west of the capital, Baghdad.

Saddam is being held by U.S. forces at an undisclosed location. U.S. officials have said they plan to bring Saddam to trial for alleged crimes against Iraqi people, but the location of any trial and its format have yet to be decided.

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