The center of Tikrit -- Saddam's Hussein's hometown, and final shard of his broken regime -- has been captured by U.S. Marines.Several thousand troops, accompanied by more than 300 armored vehicles were "spared the last burst of resistance they expected," according to the New York Times.After being pounded by AH-1 Cobra helicopters and F/A-18 Hornet warplanes, the Washington Post reports, most of the town's defenders fled before the American ground forces arrived.

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