Islamists destroy saint's Mali tomb

2012-09-17 14:39

Bamako - Islamists have destroyed the tomb of a Muslim saint in a northern Mali region under their control, two months after similar incidents in the region brought widespread condemnation, sources said on Monday.

"The Islamists on Saturday destroyed the mausoleum of Cheik El-Kebir, 330km from Gao," a local politician told AFP on condition of anonymity. "Twelve of them arrived at the site. They demolished the mausoleum with hammers, picks."

The sources said the Islamist militant Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) was responsible for the destruction.

"Today in Gao, the Islamists boasted about the destruction of the mausoleum of Cheikh El-Kebir. They said they had smashed the mausoleum on Saturday, a town leader who would not give his name told AFP. "This is a crime," he added.

The latest attack came two months after Islamists destroyed two tombs at the ancient Djingareyber mud mosque in Timbuktu soon after taking over northern Mali amid chaos in the wake of a coup attempt in the capital Bamako.

The fighters from the Islamist group Ansar Dine (Defenders of Faith) began their destruction of the city's cultural treasures on 1 July, shortly after Unesco placed them on a list of endangered World Heritage sites.

Declaring the ancient Muslim shrines "haram", or forbidden in Islam, Ansar Dine set about destroying seven of Timbuktu's 16 mausolea of ancient Muslim saints.

They also destroyed the sacred door of the 15th-century Sidi Yahya mosque.

Along with Sidi Yahya, Djingareyber and the Sankore mosque bear witness to Timbuktu's golden age as an intellectual and spiritual capital which was crucial in the spread of Islam throughout Africa.

  • hermann.hanekom - 2012-09-17 16:08

    The Islam on a self destructive course. Soon us infidels will be forgotten as they turn upon themselves.

      morgaenart.farto - 2012-09-17 17:26

      Dog Eat Dog...

  • The-Azanian - 2012-09-17 16:10

    Wow afgan and mali islamists make south africa's northern capers look like think-tank operators... Wonder what's next to be declared evil.

  • andrew.arnesen - 2012-09-17 17:10

    Religious fanaticism is a blight on the face of humanity. Seems we are headed back to the Dark Ages if these people and the US religious right would have their ways...

  • fred.fraser.12 - 2012-09-17 17:24

    Note the absence of comments by the usual people who ply old, stale anti-West, anti-Zionism, rhetoric. They don't care.

      morgaenart.farto - 2012-09-17 17:28

      They burnt their evil Western computers, foresaken their Western clothes and gone to live in the Cango Caves,. One can always hope.

  • hash.jadawat - 2012-09-17 20:21

    not islamists but FREEDOM FIGHTERS...people welcome to the NEW ISLAM WORLD ORDER..thank you..

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