Islamists linked to al-Qaida have broken down the door to a 15th-century mosque in Timbuktu that locals believed had to stay shut until the end of the world, defying international calls to halt the destruction of holy sites in the Unesco-listed city.
In a third day of attacks on historic and religious landmarks that Unesco has called "wanton destruction", the Islamists targeted the ancient Sidi Yahya mosque as they tried to erase traces of what they regard as un-Islamic idolatry.
"In legend, it is said that the main gate of Sidi Yahya mosque will not be opened until the last day [of the world]," Alpha Abdoulahi, the town imam, told Reuters by telephone.
Eight Islamist fighters smashed down the door to the mosque early on Monday, saying they wanted to "destroy the mystery" of the ancient entrance, he said...Islamists of the Ansar Dine group claim the centuries-old shrines of the local Sufi version of Islam in Timbuktu are idolatrous. They have so far destroyed at least eight of 16 listed mausoleums in the city in northern Mali, together with a number of tombs.
The International Criminal Court has described the destruction of the city's patrimony as a possible war crime...
And what can we expect if the 'Holy Basin' idea is implemented? Who will supervise the Western Wall? Have we Jews not suffered enough from the Waqf on the Temple Mount?