The director of Mali's Timbuktu tourism office, Sane Chirfi, said that Ansar Dine rebels linked to Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) tore down the mausoleums... [snip] The mausoleums housed the remains of Muslim scholars and teachers who are revered by the Timbuktu population. Since taking control of Timbuktu earlier this year, the militants have destroyed seven of the 16 mausoleums listed as world heritage sites. Some date back to the 14th century.
According to many residents, the destruction of the graves is the rebels' reaction to the recent UN resolution calling for an international military intervention to remove the rebels from northern Mali.
Some believe the ramped up destruction is in response to the UN's approval of a 3,300 African Union-led military intervention to take back the north, but Abou Dardar of Ansar Dine says it's because "Allah doesn't like it." The mausoleums, that is. Apparently they're un-Islamic because "Man should only worship Allah," so says an AQIM militant who lives in Timbuktu. Both groups are intent on destroying all historical sites in the city.
"Not a single mausoleum will remain in Timbuktu..." [snip] "We are in the process of smashing all the hidden mausoleums in the area."
And in Gao, where another militant group- the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) has taken control- they've been busy chopping off people's hands, as allowed per Shariah law. According to Moctar Barry of MUJAO:
"We cut off the hands of two people on Friday. Eight others will soon share the same fate." [snip]
His claims were confirmed by witnesses, with one resident saying the amputees had committed theft. "I saw one of them, they gave him an injection before the amputation. He cried out. Both amputees are now at the hospital," another resident told AFP.
And again, the calls for the international community to do something about the problem, roll in:
Gao lawmaker Abdou Sidibe blamed the amputations on "the international community's laxness," saying its indecision over whether to intervene to reconquer Mali's north were making the rebels feel invincible.
"The international community needs to know that it is its hesitation over intervening, or no, in northern Mali that is encouraging the rebels to show they are at home and are not afraid of anything," Sidibe said.We know what happens when the international community hesitates.
Welcome to Islamic supremacy, imperialism and jihad. But most people won't care because it's just Africa. Very sad.
Other sources: France 24