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Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi, destroyer of Timbuktu shrines

Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi, sentenced to nine years in jail by the International Criminal Court for destroying heritage sites in Timbuktu, was known as a ruthless enforcer for jihadist group Ansar Dine when it took over the fabled Malian city. Born around 40 years ago in Agoune, 100 kilometres (60 miles) from Timbuktu, the curly-haired former teacher was steeped in Islamic learning from a young age.
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