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Mali: 'Irreparable cultural damage' caused by Ahmad Al-Mahdi Al-Faqi - ICC

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By Euronews  with Reuters, ICC
Mali: 'Irreparable cultural damage' caused by Ahmad Al-Mahdi Al-Faqi - ICC

<p>The destruction of religious sites in the ancient Malian city of Timbuktu has caused irreparable damage to Africa’s cultural heritage, prosecutors at the International Criminal Court have argued.</p> <p>The accusations came at the <a href="https://www.icc-cpi.int/en_menus/icc/situations%20and%20cases/situations/icc0112/related-cases/ICC-01_12-01_15/Pages/default.aspx">trial of Ahmad Al-Mahdi Al-Faqi</a>, who is being charged in connection with attacks on nine mausoleums and mosques.</p> <p><span class="caps">ICC</span> Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told the court:<br /> “The charges we have brought against Ahmad Al-Mahdi Al-Faqi involve most serious crimes. They are about the destruction of irreplaceable historic monuments and they are about a callous assault on the dignity and identity of entire populations and their religion and historical roots.”</p> <p>Al-Faqi, an ethnic Tuareg, is said to belong to Ansar Dine, a militant group with ties to Al Qaeda. He is the first person the court is charging with destroying antiquities.</p> <p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet tw-align-center" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">ICC unveils war crimes charge over 'callous' Timbuktu attack in 2012 <a href="https://t.co/vbh3BzcRAG">https://t.co/vbh3BzcRAG</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Timbuktu?src=hash">#Timbuktu</a> <a href="https://t.co/rxCFY40IwI">pic.twitter.com/rxCFY40IwI</a></p>— AFP news agency (@AFP) <a href="https://twitter.com/AFP/status/704610666796212224">March 1, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <p>The <span class="caps">ICC</span> has been looking into happenings in Mali since Tuareg rebels seized part of the north of the country in 2012 and imposed a strict interpretation of Islamic law. Government troops pushed them back a year later.</p>