"A woman was forced to give birth on the sidewalk because the Islamists wouldn't let her into the hospital without a veil"
Four days ago, in the markets and at the hospital, Islamists began to ask women to cover their heads entirely [Editor’s Note: many women wore light veils that showed some of their hair]. In a message broadcast on the radio on Thursday, they also announced that women were no longer allowed outside after 11 p.m. Since then, the Islamist fighters that patrol the streets have been monitoring the women, and they hit women who don’t obey this new rule with their sticks.
Until now, many women in Timbuktu wore light veils that covered part of their hair. But the cloth, often white, was quite transparent. The Islamists have decided women should wear a much larger veil that covers their ears, and that it has to be black. They also banned tight clothes that many of the young women wear. Now, they’re all wearing large flowing dresses or “toungous”, which is a 12 metre long piece of cloth that is traditionally worn in the Sahel desert, on top of regular clothes.
"The Islamists announced that any woman who disobeys their rules will have her ears cut off"
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