Islamists destroy another World Heritage site in Mali
Islamists destroyed Saturday another tomb of a Muslim saint in a northern Mali region under their control, witnesses said. "I saw the Islamists in Goundam destroy the mausoleum of Alfa Mobo, beside the cemetery," local municipal councillor Mamadou Cisse told news agency AFP.
Another witness, who declined to be identified, said, "They smashed the mausoleum down to the level of the tomb."
He added that "there were 11 of them and someone was filming it."
The witnesses said the Islamists were armed with axes and other tools.
Goundam, 90 kilometres (55 miles) from Timbuktu, is in the hands of the Islamist group Ansar Dine (Defenders of Faith), which with other radicals has been destroying local Muslim shrines since seizing northern Mali in April.
The Islamists say the shrines, venerated by local people and declared part of the world's heritage by the United Nations, are "haram", or forbidden in Islam.
Ansar Dine sparked widespread condemnation when they began destroying the renowned cultural treasures of Timbuktu on July 1, shortly after UNESCO placed them on a list of endangered World Heritage sites.
They destroyed seven of Timbuktu's 16 mausolea of ancient Muslim saints and the sacred door of the 15th-century Sidi Yahya mosque. (continue reading...)