Mali Fighters Destroy More Timbuktu Tombs, Commit Amputations
Al-Qaeda-linked fighters occupying Timbuktu in northern Mali have destroyed remaining mausoleums in the ancient city using pickaxes, a leader of the group says.
“Not a single mausoleum will remain in Timbuktu, Allah doesn’t like it,” Abou Dardar, head of Ansar Dine, told the AFP news agency on Sunday. “We are in the process of smashing all the hidden mausoleums in the area.”
The smashing of the mausoleum, part of what the fighters say is about defending the purity of their faith against idol worship, follows a United Nations approval of a military force to wrest back control of the conflict-ridden area.
Historians say the rebels’ campaign of destruction is pulverising a valuable part of the history of Islam in Africa.
The AFP reported that witnesses confirmed the claims, which were also corroborated by a resident who said he belonged to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), another group occupying the fabled city.
“The Islamists are currently in the process of destroying all the mausoleums in the area with pickaxes,” one witness said.