Timbuktu, Mali: MIlitant Muslim Group Threatening to Impose Sharia Destroys 15th Century Tombs
(CNN) -- A Mali separatist movement on Sunday said it was prepared to act against Islamic militants following the destruction of three sacred tombs in Timbuktu, and called on the United States and France "to help us kill them." The tombs, a 15th-century shrine to Muslim saints, are part of a UNESCO World Heritage site in Timbuktu. UNESCO on Saturday condemned the destruction and called for it to stop. The UN agency, which sponsors cultural, scientific and educational programs to further peaceful relations between nations, has received reports that three of the site's 16 mausoleums were "completely destroyed," UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova told CNN on Sunday. They are the mausoleums of Sidi Mahmoud, Sidi Moctar and Alpha Moya. Timbuktu Mayor Ousmane Halle said that Muslims on their way to Friday worship at the tombs were stopped and threatened by armed men from Ansar Dine, a militant group that seeks to impose strict Sharia law. Ansar Dine has threatened to continue the destruction. "It's very, very bad for the Azawad people and the whole world what Ansar Dine has done in Timbuktu. We condemn it completely," Moussa Ag Assarid, spokesman for the Tuareg rebels' National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad, or MNLA, said Sunday. The group promotes a separate state it calls Azawad. "We are ready and preparing to right with these terrorist organizations," Assarid said. "We will move soon, and (are) taking our arms and vehicles and material, but we still need help." The <b>...</b>
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