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Mali rebels destroy tomb of Muslim saint: Officials

Published on Sep 17, 2012 8:25 PM

BAMAKO (AFP) - Islamists have destroyed the tomb of a Muslim saint in a northern Mali region under their control, two months after similar incidents in the region brought widespread condemnation, sources said Monday.

"The Islamists on Saturday destroyed the mausoleum of Cheik El-Kebir, 330km from Gao," a local politician told AFP on condition of anonymity.

"Twelve of them arrived at the site. They demolished the mausoleum with hammers, picks." The sources said the Islamist militant Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (Mujao) was responsible for the destruction.

"Today in Gao, the Islamists boasted about the destruction of the mausoleum of Cheikh El-Kebir. They said they had smashed the mausoleum on Saturday," a town leader who would not give his name told AFP. "This is a crime," he added.

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