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 .