Home > News > World
Saturday March 15, 2014 MYT 5:36:42 AM
Saturday March 15, 2014 MYT 5:37:54 AM
DAKAR (Reuters) - Malian masons on Friday began rebuilding mausoleums in the historic city of Timbuktu destroyed by Islamists during their occupation of the country's north, the United Nations said.
The earthen tombs of saints, located in the UNESCO listed desert city, were destroyed in July 2012 by militants who considered the local Sufi version of Islam to be idolatrous.
Video footage from the period shows armed militants hacking at the sites with pickaxes. Thousands of ancient manuscripts were also burned.
"The rehabilitation of Timbuktu's cultural heritage is critical for the Malian population, for the inhabitants of the city and for the entire world," said UNESCO head Irina Bokova.
Located on an old Saharan trading route that saw salt from the Arab north exchanged for gold and slaves from black Africa to the south, Timbuktu blossomed in the 16th century as an Islamic seat of learning, home to priests, scribes and jurists.
Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita is now seeking to rebuild the country after a putsch in March 2012 plunged the country into chaos, allowing Islamists to seize the north and prompting former coloniser France to intervene.
Small pockets of Islamists still operate in the desert, preventing a recovery in the West African country's once thriving tourism sector.
(Writing by Emma Farge; editing by Ralph Boulton)
China offers $50 million to Mali in midst of IMF talks
U.N. says Palestinians, Israelis reach deal on Gaza reconstruction
Islamic State destroys Sufi shrines in eastern Syria - watchdog
Gaza war to reverse years of growth in Palestinian economy - World Bank
Mali says signed accords with China for projects worth $11 billion
New Polish PM signals cautious approach on euro accession
China tells foreign countries not to meddle in Hong Kong
Hong Kong leader plays waiting game, protesters demand he resigns
Israel's Netanyahu to Obama: Don't allow Iran deal that leaves it at nuclear threshold
Ex-NATO chief Rasmussen opens consultancy advising governments, companies
Israel's Netanyahu tells Obama that Iran can't be allowed to reach nuclear arms 'threshold'
Spook-tacular fun for Halloween
Liam Neeson’s character to save family again in ‘Taken 3’
Special Report - In 'Umbrella Revolution,' China confronts limits of its power
Copyright © 1995-2014 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)