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MALI: Rebels smash islamic shrines
MALI UPRISING. If you were planning to see the unique Mali’s islamic shines, which are on Unesco’s list of endangered world heritage sites, it might soon be too late. Militant rebels in northern Mali are in the midst of smashing the temples, arguing that the shrines in question, of the local Sufi version of Islam, imprecate the religion.
About 30 militants armed with assault rifles and pickaxes destroyed three mausoleums in Timbuktu, Mali, on Saturday and three more on Sunday, witnesses said according to Reuters. The group said it planned to destroy all 16 of the city’s main shrines.
The hardline Islamists seized control of Timbuktu along with the rest of northern Mali three months ago. Mali’s government and the international community have expressed horror and outrage at the destruction of cultural treasures in the fabled city, an ancient desert crossroads and centre of learning known as the “City of 333 Saints”, the news website Africareview.com reports.