Conflict & Justice

Timbuktu mausoleums destroyed by Mali Islamists


An undated picture shows vegetation and sand in the foreground with the city of Timbuktu on the horizon. Ansar Dine, one of the hardline Islamist groups controlling northern Mali, threatened on June 30, 2012 to destroy all shrines of Muslim saints in the fabled city of Timbuktu. Mali on July 1, 2012 appealed to the United Nations to take action after Mali extremists ravaged shrines in the fabled city of Timbuktu which the UN's cultural body had listed as endangered days earlier. AFP PHOTO / HO / UN PHOTO / Evan Schneider



More of Timbuktu's historic mausoleums have been destroyed by Islamists in Mali, who view the shrines as idolatry. 

Four mausoleums had reportedly been flattened on Sunday, tourist official Sane Chirfi told BBC News, and more are expected to be targeted. 

The targeted shrines – which held remains of revered Muslim scholars and teachers — were not included on the United Nations list of World Heritage sites, the Associated Press reported. However, since taking control of the country earlier this year, the Islamists have destroyed seven out of Timbuktu's 16 UN Heritage sites, according to the AP. 

"Not a single mausoleum will remain in Timbuktu, Allah doesn't like it," Islamist group Ansar Dine leader Abou Dardar told Agence France Presse. "We are in the process of smashing all the hidden mausoleums in the area."

The destruction of the mausoleums comes just a day after another armed group, the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), amputated two people's hands in Gao city and warned that there would be further amputations, according to Al Jazeera

Last week, the UN Security Council gave its support to a military operation lead by African forces that would work to recapture Northern Mali from the Islamists, BBC News reported. 

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