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Rome Reports

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Extremist Islamic group damage another UNESCO site in Timbuktu, Mali

This last incident, is one of several recent attack against UNESCO World Heritage sites in that area.

IRNIA BOKOVA UNESCO Director General "There are mausoleums, there are mosques, manuscripts which represent an enormous value for humanity, and itâ??s totally unacceptable what is happening there.â?

Timbuktu is in the West African state of Mali. Since the 12th century, it has been considered the cradle of Islamic learning. Especially since thousands of Islamic manuscripts and texts have been found there.

In 1988, it was declared a World Heritage site. In fact, just days before the attacks began, it was added to the list of landmarks that run the risk of  not having proper conservation. Now UNESCO is trying to rally support to stop the attacks.

IRNIA BOKOVA UNESCO Director General "It's mobilizing international support of political and religious leaders.�

The rebel group argues that the shrines promote idol worshiping.

This unrest in Northern Mali, comes after former president Amadou Toumani was ousted by a military coup last March. Since then, rebels and Islamic groups have been fighting to seize control of the area.

KLH Images: Unesco UNiFeed JM -BN