Monday, 22 August 2016
Sorry for destroying Timbuktu Malian jihadist begs
A Malian jihadist pleaded guilty Monday to attacking the fabled city of Timbuktu and begged forgiveness as the world was shown sickening videos of him tearing down centuries-old Muslim shrines with a pick-axe.
"I plead guilty," Mahdi said, after being read the charge arising from the 2012 attack on the UNESCO world heritage site when a group of Islamist jihadists swept across Mali's remote north.
Aged about 40, Mahdi is also the first Islamist extremist to appear before the tribunal launched in The Hague in 2002 to try the world's worst crimes, and the first facing allegations stemming from the conflict in Mali.
He is accused of "intentionally directing attacks" against nine of Timbuktu's famous mausoleums as well as the Sidi Yahia mosque between June 30 and July 11, 2012.