A radical Islamic faction that controls the northern Malian outpost of Timbuktu defied international condemnation today and continued destroying the city’s ancient tombs.

The attacks by the al-Qaeda-linked faction Answar Dine began on Saturday as militants used axes and shovels to attack the tombs of Timbuktu’s Sufi saints.

The radicals say they consider the tombs to be idolatrous. The BBC quotes one spokesman as saying the movement has now completed nearly 90% of its objective to destroy all mausoleums that are not in line with Islamic law.

The assaults began after Ansar Dine secured its hold on the three main towns in northern Mali, including Timbuktu.

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