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Malian extremist to go on trial for Timbuktu rampage


THE HAGUE, Netherlands — An Islamic radical accused of destroying historic mausoleums in the Malian desert city of Timbuktu is going on trial at the International Criminal Court.

Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi has said he plans to plead guilty Monday morning to allegations that he was personally involved in the destruction when he was a member of Ansar Dine, an Islamic extremist group with links to al-Qaida that held power in northern Mali in 2012.

The radicals destroyed 14 of Timbuktu’s 16 mausoleums because they considered them totems of idolatry. The one-room structures that house the tombs of the city’s great thinkers were on the World Heritage list.

Al Mahdi is the first suspect to face an ICC charge of deliberately attacking religious or historical monuments.

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