Jihadist Mahdi apologises for razing Timbuktu shrines

A Malian jihadi admitted wrecking holy shrines  during Mali’s 2012 conflict and asked for forgiveness  during war crimes trial ,as he pleaded guilty to the attacks  on the fabled city of Timbuktu , and urged Muslims  not to follow such “evil” ways.

During trial at the International criminal court,Ahmad al -Faqi al-Mahdi said ,”Your honour ,regrettably I have to say that  what I heard so far is accurate  and reflects the events, I plead guilty.”

40 year old Mahdi  is the first person to be tried by the International  Criminal Court for destroying cultural heritage.

Prosecutors said Mahdi led a group of  religious police using pick-axes and crowbars to destroy nine mausoleums and the door of  a mosque..

Mahdi is accused of “intentionally directing attacks ” against nine of the Timbuktu shrines as well as Sidi  Yahia mosque  in 2012.

Founded between the  fifth and the 12th centuries  by Tuareg tribes, Timbuktu’s very name  evokes centuries of history .

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