Timbuktu

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Suspect in Timbuktu Shrines' Destruction: 'I Am Really Sorry'

Ahmad al-Mahdi, charged with war crimes, pleads guilty at the Hague

(Newser) - When Islamic rebels backed by al-Qaeda infiltrated Timbuktu in 2012, they wreaked havoc in the Malian city and destroyed Muslim shrines, including nine mausoleums and the door of a mosque that had remained shut for hundreds of years, per the Guardian . Now Ahmad al-Mahdi, a former employee with Mali's... More »

Dutch Hostage Free After Years in Mali

Sjaak Rijke was rescued by French special forces

(Newser) - A Dutchman who was held in captivity by Islamic militants for more than three years has left Mali and is headed back home, officials say. Sjaak Rijke, who was abducted from a hotel in Timbuktu, northern Mali, in November 2011, flew into Mali's capital Bamako yesterday after being rescued... More »

Al-Qaeda's Mundane Life Revealed via Receipts

Terrorist group likes meat and tomatoes, spends a lot at hardware stores

(Newser) - Even terrorists have to get the car fixed, and the AP takes a look at al-Qaeda's mundane day-to-day via some 100 receipts and invoices found in a Timbuktu building occupied by its North African branch. Turns out the terrorist group keeps close tabs on its dollars and cents. Some... More »

France Takes Mali's Last Rebel City; Next: the Hard Part

A force of African nations will try to keep militants from mounting comeback

(Newser) - France is wrapping up the first phase of its Mali mission: Its forces took back the last big urban center once held by Islamic militants, reports Reuters . The success in Kidal follows similar operations in Gao and Timbuktu over the last three weeks, and now France is getting ready to... More »

French Forces Reach Timbuktu

Islamists on the retreat in northern Mali

(Newser) - Ground forces backed by French paratroopers and helicopters took control of the airport and roads leading to the fabled desert town of Timbuktu in an overnight operation, a French military official says. The move marked the latest inroad by the two-week-old French mission to oust radical Islamists from the northern... More »

Islamists Stone Mali Lovers to Death

Militants in north exact extreme punishment for sex

(Newser) - Two young, unmarried lovers, apparently with children, were buried up to their necks then stoned to death in a Mali town taken over by Islamist extremists. Bearded men, armed with Kalashnikov rifles, dragged the couple from the countryside into the center of the town of Aguelhok, reports the New York ... More »

Extremists Smash More Timbuktu Sites

'World heritage doesn't exist,' Ansar Dine fighters say

(Newser) - Islamic extremists destroying historic sites in the ancient city of Timbuktu have vowed to keep going until there's nothing left. Gunmen in the Malian city destroyed two tombs at the 700-year-old Djingareyber mosque yesterday, adding to a trail of destruction which includes the mausoleums of numerous Islamic saints, considered... More »

Ax-Wielding Islamists Attack Timbuktu's Holy Sites

They destroy mausoleums of saints in UNESCO-listed city

(Newser) - UNESCO moved Timbuktu to its list of heritage sites in danger just days ago; the Malian city now more likely belongs on a list of heritage sites in peril. Reuters reports that al-Qaeda-linked Islamists today began attacking local saints' mausoleums, which they consider idolatrous. Armed with Kalashnikovs and using pick-axes... More »

Mali's 'Very Existence' Threatened by Coup

Fears of food, gas shortages as refugees flee

(Newser) - Since we last checked in, the situation in Mali following a soldiers' coup has spiraled, with rising concerns over food and gas shortages, violence, and indeed the country's "very existence," according to Le Monde . An update:
  • The coup has driven more than 200,000 people from their
... More »

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