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.
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