Mali’s government condemned an attempt by Islamists in the northern city of Gao to cut off the hand of a man accused of being a thief, according to an e-mailed statement today.
Residents in the city protested the planned amputation, Kader Toure, a trader in Gao, said by phone.
The Islamist groups, Ansar ud-Din and MUJAO, decided not to go ahead with the punishment in order to halt the protests, Oumar Hamaha, a spokesman for the organizations, said by phone. He denied that they were re-thinking a plan to implement Shariah law, which includes amputations as penalty for stealing, in the region.
To contact the reporter on this story: Diakaridia Dembele in Bamako via Accra at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Emily Bowers at firstname.lastname@example.org