|Secutity officers in Mali illustration|
A group in Mali hit a new level of cruelty by cutting off the hand of a thief and burning his arm in hot oil.
The Malian authorities slammed the Islamic militants on Friday, after they cut off the hand of a man for allegedly stealing sheep, reminding the world of the cruel group that has overrun northern Mali.
The amputation of the 35-year-old man's hand ceremony was held on Wednesday, in the northern village of Ansongo. His accomplice’s punishment was postponed because the accused was found to be ill.
"After the Islamists cut off the hand of the man, they put his arm into boiling oil," said a witness at the scene who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.
The authorities expressed their outrage at the cruel act of the Islamists, who have said they are ruling under strict Islamic law. Last month, an adulterous couple was stoned to death.
"It's horrible what's happening in our cities," said El Hadj Baba Haidara, a member of the Parliament of Mali.
Mali's government issued a statement condemning the amputation calling it "a new horrible act to add to the long list of horrible acts."
The statement also said that the government is open to the acceleration of plans with neighboring countries to recover the northern part of the country from the hands of the Islamist rebels.