Mali extremists cut off man's hand for stealing motorcycle
BAMAKO (AFP) - Muslim jihadists occupying northern Mali on Thursday said they had cut off the hand of a thief in accordance with strict Islamic law which they have imposed on the population.
The first reported amputation since the extremists seized the north of the country four months ago came as diplomats warned of a ticking time-bomb which could put the world at risk if the region becomes a safe haven for terrorists.
As west African mediators attempt to engage in talks with the Islamist groups and the option of military intervention lies untried, the extremists carried out a further grisly religious punishment. They have already stoned an unwed couple to death and beaten other people.
"Yes, I confirm it. We applied syariah in Ansongo yesterday (Wednesday). The hand of a thief was cut off. Syariah demands it," a leader of the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), Mohamed Ould Abdine, told AFP.