Insurgents blew up the two minarets of the famous Golden Dome Shi'ite shrine in Samarra on Wednesday, Iraqi police and a security official said.
The attack occurred around 9 a.m., despite a police presence at the site, officials said. Police in Samarra spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, and a security official in Baghdad confirmed the account on the same condition.
The al-Askari shrine's dome was destroyed in Feb. 2006 in a bombing blamed on al-Qaida-linked militants. The mosque compound and minarets remained intact, and have been guarded since then by Iraqi police and commandos.