Baba Ahmed and Rukmini Callimachi of the Associated Press report in the Seattle Times that members of the radical Islamist group, the Ansar Dine, in Northern Mali have carried out amputations against five accused thieves “in the latest application of Sharia law in the country's north.”
Despite a loud outcry from the international community and protests from locals, the Islamists have applied an extreme interpretation of Islam, and have stoned to death an adulterous couple, cut off the hand of another thief and publicly whipped people accused of other transgressions…. [Islamic police commissioner Aliou Hamahar Toure] told The Associated Press by telephone that the five victims had held up passenger buses leaving the city …. In accordance with Shariah law, they each [had] their right hand and left foot cut off.
Local Malians have largely resisted the efforts of radicals to impose these punishments, according to Adam Nossiter at The New York Times, and the government has issued harsh condemnations of the Ansar Dine.
“Truly barbaric; not worthy of our civilization,” [said Parliamentary deputy Abdou] Sidibé, speaking from Bamako, said of the amputations…. “We cannot understand that these things happen, and the world watches and does nothing.”