Timbuktu’s Vulnerable Manuscripts Are City’s "Gold"
Some of Timbuktu’s ancient manuscripts may have been destroyed by militants.
But before fleeing, the militants reportedly set fire to several buildings and many rare manuscripts. Timbuktu Mayor Halle Ousmane Cisse, speaking from the Malian capital of Bamako, told journalists that the fighters had "torched all the important documents." However, there are conflicting reports as to how many manuscripts were actually destroyed. (Video: Roots of the Mali Crisis.)
On Monday, Sky News posted an interview with a man identifying himself as an employee of the Ahmed Baba Institute, a government-run repository for rare books and manuscripts, the oldest of which date back to the city's founding in the 12th century. The man said some 3,000 of the institute's 20,000 manuscripts had been destroyed or looted by the Islamists.
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