A lawyer for residents of Timbuktu has told International Criminal Court judges that the destruction by Islamic extremists of historic mausoleums in the Malian desert left them feeling shame at the desecration of their saints and ancestors.

Mayombo Kassongo, who is representing victims at the trial of Muslim radical Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi, also said Wednesday that the destruction in 2012 of the World Heritage-listed sites wasn't only a spiritual blow to residents, but also a financial one, as it crippled tourism in the remote city.

Victims of crimes are eligible to claim financial reparations following trials at the ICC.

Al Mahdi pleaded guilty and expressed remorse Monday for his role in leading the destruction of nine mausoleums and a mosque door in Timbuktu.