The Hussein Brothers Are Laid to Rest

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Iraqi men stand at the graves of Saddam Hussein's sons, Qusay, Uday and Qusay's son Mustafa in the cemetery of Awja, the home village of their father

Uday and Qusay Hussein were buried today under the scorching noon sun in a cemetery just outside of their father's ancestral village of Owja. U.S. soldiers escorted the bodies of the sons of Saddam Hussein, and that of Qusay's 14-year-old boy Mustafa, and handed them over to the care of the local sheik. The military insisted on burying the two sons without an audience. A checkpoint was set up on the road to the cemetery, according to locals, to keep relatives and the citizens of Tikrit and Owja away while the two men's bodies, in metal boxes, were placed in the ground. The tribe was allowed to bury Mustafa.

At 1:30 in the afternoon, after the military escort left, a crowd of 300 locals and distant family members, all men, came and laid Iraqi flags over the fresh mounds of earth. Eleven chanted "No God but Allah" as they carried Mustafa's silver colored coffin to the freshly dug hole in the ground. "They are heroes, the sons of President Saddam Hussein," says Mahmoud Jemma Hamid, 19, who helped carry Mustafa to his final resting place. "The blood for Mustafa, Uday and Qusay will not go to waste," added Usama Hamid who used to work in the office of the President and helped shovel dirt on stainless-steel box that held Saddam Hussein's grandson. "Saddam loves the blood of all Iraqis who die for him."

After water was sprinkled over the three graves and the imam led prayers, the throng of men started chanting for the fallen dictator. "Our blood, our souls for you Saddam," they shouted thrusting their hands in the air. One man in a blue polo shirt got angry, shouting, "We will kill all Americans in Tikrit!"

On Sunday, said Hamid, a complete reading of the Koran in honor of the slain men will begin at the mosque in Owja. The last thing the Coalition Forces want is for the memory of these men and their final shootout to become a rallying cry for the resistance. No doubt, they're hoping it will now all be quietly laid to rest.