Islamists destroy saint's tomb in north Mali: Officials

AFP , Saturday 29 Sep 2012

Islamists armed with axes and other tools destroy another tomb of a Muslim saint in a northern Mali region

Mali
Islamists armed with axes and other tools destroy another tomb of a Muslim saint in a northern Mali region . (File Photo: Reuters)

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 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.

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