Mali Islamists Execute Man in Timbuktu

Posted October 3rd, 2012 at 9:55 am (UTC-5)
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Islamist militants who control northern Mali have publicly executed a man accused of murder.

A spokesman for militant group Ansar Dine tells VOA the man, a Malian Tuareg, was killed by firing squad in Timbuktu late on Tuesday.

The spokesman, Sanda Ould Bouamama, says Ansar Dine was acting in line with Islamic law.

“We judged him,” he says. “The family of the victim asked for him to be executed, which was their right under Sharia law, and it was done.”

Witnesses in Timbuktu confirmed the execution.

Bouamama says the man had admitted to killing another man over a small dispute, and had turned himself in voluntarily to face judgement.

This is the second public execution carried out by Ansar Dine, one of three main groups seeking to impose a strict version of Islamic law in northern Mali.

The group previously stoned a couple to death after accusing them of adultery.

Human rights groups and the U.N. Security Council have demanded the militants stop severe punishments that have also included public floggings and amputations.

The Security Council is considering a West African plan to send troops to Mali and help the country's interim government retake the north.

Ansar Dine, the Movement for Oneness and Jihad, and al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb seized control of the region in the confusion that followed a March 22 coup in Mali's capital, Bamako.