She was reacting to the ongoing smashing of shrines by the Ansar Dine group, which has controlled northern Mali since April 1.
“My message to those involved in these criminal acts is clear: stop the destruction of the religious buildings now," Bensouda told AFP in an interview in Dakar. "This is a war crime which my office has authority to fully investigate."
Mali ratified the ICC Treaty in August 2000, meaning that the ICC Prosecutor can open an inquiry once this is approved by the judges. The Malian government also threatened at the weekend to pursue the authors of these crimes both at home and abroad.
Ansar Dine today attacked one ofthe city's most historic mosques after destroying several shrines during the weekend, according to the BBC. The group claims these historic treasures contravene its strict interpretation of Islam.
Timbuktu is a UNESCO World Heritage site.