Militants seek to destroy Mali shrines

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BAMAKO, Mali (Reuters) — Islamist militants, wielding pickaxes, began destroying the mausoleums of Muslim saints in the northern city of Timbuktu on Saturday, witnesses said.

The militants from the group Ansar Dine, which controls much of northern Mali, adhere to a strict version of Islamic law and consider the shrines of the local Sufi version of Islam idolatrous.

Just days ago, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or Unesco, put Timbuktu on its list of endangered world heritage sites, fearing damage to landmarks and cultural treasures in the wake of a coup that ousted Mali’s government in March....

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