Islamic Extremist Pleads Guilty to Destroying Holy Sites in Mali

August 22, 2016 8:53 AM

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Islamic Extremist Pleads Guilty to Destroying Holy Sites in Mali

PARIS — An Islamic extremist pleaded guilty on Monday at the International Criminal Court to destroying shrines and damaging a mosque in the Malian city of Timbuktu, in the court’s first prosecution of the destruction of cultural heritage as a war crime.

Prosecutors have said that Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi, a member of a jihadist group linked to Al Qaeda, was present at the smashing of a number of venerable centuries-old mud and stone buildings holding the tombs of holy men and scholars whose worship was declared to be contrary to Islamic tenets.

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