3 Jul 2012

Mission of destruction nearly accomplished

6:06 am on 3 July 2012

The Ansar Dine group in Mali says it has nearly completed its mission to demolish all the tombs in the ancient city of Timbuktu.

The Islamist group says it has destroyed 90% of all mausoleums that were not in line with sharia law.

The BBC reports the 15th-Century Sidi Yahia mosque was among those attacked. The site is one of the three great mosques of Timbuktu.

Timbuktu was a centre of Islamic learning in the 15th and 16th Centuries. It is also known as "City of 333 saints", which originate in the Sufi tradition of Islam.

Ansar Dine's beliefs condemn the veneration of saints. The group seized control of Timbuktu in April.