French soldiers patrol outside Djinguereber mosque after Friday prayers in the center of Timbuktu Feb. 1, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
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A Malian extremist will go on trial in August, set to admit to an attack on the World Heritage site of Timbuktu which triggered a global outcry, the International Criminal Court said Wednesday.Mahdi, who is aged around 40, said he was "a Muslim who believes in justice," his defense lawyer Mohamed Aouini told a hearing last week.ICC prosecutors say Mahdi was a leader of Ansar Dine, a mainly Tuareg group that controlled areas of Mali's northern desert together with Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and a third local group in early 2012 .
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