West African Ministers Consider Mali Troop Request

Posted September 17th, 2012 at 1:05 pm (UTC-5)
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said the regional group is awaiting a U.N. Security Council meeting on Mali before deciding on a date for troop deployment. But he said that valuable time has been lost in attempting to resolve the crisis, and that Islamist groups believed to be linked to al-Qaida now control two-thirds of Mali.

The militant groups, Ansar Dine and Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa, have moved to enforce a strict version of Islamic law.

Islamists have destroyed a mausoleum of a Muslim saint, Cheikh El-Kebir, in the northern part of the country it controls. A reporter for VOA says Islamist leaders in the region confirmed the destruction on Saturday of the shrine. The militant groups say such shrines are forbidden under Islam.