Islamists tear down shrines

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Islamist extremists destroyed four mausoleums in Timbuktu yesterday.

The director of Mali’s Timbuktu tourism office, Sane Chirfi, said that Ansar Dine rebels linked to al-Qaeda tore down the mausoleums, which were historic but not included on the UN’s list of World Heritage sites. The mausoleums housed the remains of Muslim scholars and teachers who are revered by the Timbuktu population.

Since taking control of Timbuktu earlier this year, the Islamists have destroyed seven of the 16 mausoleums listed as world heritage sites. Some date back to the 14th century.