Magharebia (Washington DC)

28 January 2013

Mali: Fleeing Islamists Torch Timbuktu Manuscripts

Historic manuscripts housed at the Ahmed Baba Library in Timbuktu are safe.Only minimal damage was caused to the library by fleeing Islamist rebels. ( Resource: Historic Manuscripts in Timbaktu Safe

Malian and French troops on Monday (January 28th) surrounded Timbuktu after seizing the city's airport from Islamist insurgents and their al-Qaeda allies, AFP reported.

The hardliners wreaked havoc before fleeing. According to Mali's culture ministry, the armed extremists torched the Ahmed Baba Centre for Documentation and Research, which housed between 60,000 and 100,000 manuscripts from the ancient Muslim world and Greece.

In related news, troops from Mali, Niger and Chad now control Gao, the French defence ministry said. French warplanes carried out some 20 air strikes Saturday and Sunday in the Gao and Timbuktu regions, the ministry statement added.

On Saturday, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) agreed to increase its troop deployment from 3,300 to 7,700, PANA reported.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2013 Magharebia. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.

InFocus

Where Are Mali's Priceless Manuscripts?

Questions have been raised about the location of ancient manuscripts reportedly burned by Islamists as they were fleeing Timbuktu. Read more »

French Soldiers Cheered in Mali's Timbuktu

French troops head for Mali

Residents of Timbuktu greeted French-led troops with delight as they entered the ancient city following the retreat of Islamists who had controlled the entire north of the country. Read more »