Islamist leader imposes Shariah law
BY DAMIEN MCELROY, DAILY TELEGRAPHAPRIL 6, 2012
The Islamist commander who seized control of Timbuktu this week has imposed a harsh regime of Shariah law on the city, leading by example by cut-ting a man's hand off in public.
Ayad Ag Ghaly, leader of the Islamist faction of tribal Tuareg rebels that is allied to al-Qaida, was reported to have personally carried out the sentence on an unnamed "vandal" in the heart of the ancient city in Mali, western Africa.
Ousmane Halle, the mayor of Timbuktu, said almost all of the city's 300 Christians fled after Ag Ghaly announced that Sha-riah law would be enforced.
Ag Ghaly told local radio that women should be covered at all times. He warned thieves would have their hands cut off and adulterers would be stoned.
His faction, named Ansar al-Din, and its al-Qaida allies won control of the urban centres of northern Mali after a regional uprising that made fast gains after a military coup deposed Mali's elected government.