Islamists occupying Timbuktu were using pickaxes on Sunday (December 23rd) to destroy any remaining mausoleums in the ancient city, an Islamist leader told AFP.
"Not a single mausoleum will remain in Timbuktu, God doesn't like it. We are in the process of smashing all the hidden mausoleums in the area," said Abou Dardar, an Ansar al-Din leader.
In related news, al-Qaeda splinter group Movement for Tawhid and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) said Saturday that it cut off the hands of two people in Gao as part of its interpretation of Sharia, AFP reported. The terror group warned another eight people could face a similar fate.
"It's God's law and no one can stop us from applying it," said Moctar Barry, a leader of MUJAO, which controls the city of Gao.