World Bulletin / News Desk
Residents of Mali's historic city of Timbuktu have welcomed the completion of reconstruction works in three historical tombs out of 14 ones destroyed by militants in 2012.
"I'm very pleased by the reconstruction of the tombs . It is a great thing for the city of Timbuktu," Sheikh Baba Sekou Cisse, the imam of Timbuktu's grand mosque, told Anadolu Agency.
"The tombs represent a cultural value for Mali and the world. It is not for nothing that UNESCO is concerned with their reconstruction."
The government and U.N. world heritage agency UNESCO earmarked $11 million for the rebuilding and renovation of the historical tombs and sites in Timbuktu destroyed two years ago.
Timbuktu's tombs date back to the 15th and 16th centuries, when the city was an intellectual and economic center and a destination for the cultural elite of the Islamic world. The city's tombs are included in the list of World Heritage Sites.
"We would like to thank UNESCO and the Malian authorities who helped rebuild these mausoleums," Cisse added.
According to Cisse, it only took less than one month to rebuild the tombs of Sufi scholars Sheikh Baba Yore, Amadou Foulan and Alhouseini Alpha.
Sokona Tounkara, UNESCO's media officer in Bamako, hailed efforts by local workers to end the reconstruction of the three tombs in such short time.
"The project is due to take four years to reconstruct 14 damaged mausoleums and mosques and three city libraries," Tounkara told Anadolu Agency.
According to UNESCO, 14 historic mausoleums were destroyed and at least 4,200 manuscripts were burnt during the clashes between government forces and rebels in 2012.Last Mod: 09 Nisan 2014, 12:06