In the absence of French or African soldiers, it appears to be payback time for suspect Islamic militants in Gao.
Local youths, known as the “Patrollers of Gao”, have filled the security vacuum. They have been hunting men believed to be former members of the extremist regime with the aim, they say, of delivering justice.
“They are the Islamists who have gone into their homes to hide, so we have been rounding them up to hand them to the military,” said their spokesman Abdul Karim.
With no known agreement between the patrollers and the Malian army, it is clear some of the prisoners have suffered abuse.
There is anger over what the militants have done since they seized the city and imposed Sharia law 10 months ago.
Timbuktu’s historic library also bears scars. Islamist rebels burnt down buildings that housed thousands of ancient 18th century manuscripts before fleeing the city as French forces closed in.
It is the latest act of destruction by militants who have spent months smashing graves and holy shrines in the World Heritage site.
- 1Incredible scenes in the Turkish parliament
- 2Palestinians condemn Eurovision Song Contest for flag ban
- 3Three Earth-like planets found outside the Solar System
- 4Denmark extends controls on German border, EU set to allow more Schengen exceptions
- 5‘Misleading at best and flat out wrong at worst’ US reacts to Greenpeace TTIP leak
Latest world news
Three Earth-like planets found outside the Solar System
Denmark extends controls on German border, EU set to allow more Schengen exceptions
Incredible scenes in the Turkish parliament
Reckitt Benckiser apologises over South Korea deadly disinfectant
US cruise ship docks in Havana over 40 years since the last sailed the Florida Straits
Wires > News
- 01:41 CET Brazil prosecutor asks for probe of opposition leader Neves
- 01:20 CET Emotional return as first U.S. cruise in decades reaches Cuba
- 00:30 CET Obama says Chinese-led trade deal shows need for TPP – Washington…
- 00:29 CET U.S. says Iraq’s PM in ‘strong position’ amid political unrest
- 00:24 CET NATO weighs four battalions in Eastern states to deter Russia -…
- 00:17 CET Argentine court probes ex-president Fernandez over new case – media
- 23:04 CET U.S. tells Pakistan it will have to fund F-16s itself
- 22:14 CET Leader of Canada’s separatist Parti Quebecois steps down