The desecration of Timbuktu: Fleeing Islamists destroy priceless treasures before French forces closed in

by MATT BLAKE, Daily Mail  |  published on January 30, 2013

Timbuktu

Islamist extremists have set fire to a library containing thousands of priceless historic manuscripts as they fled French and Malian forces closing in on Timbuktu.

Without firing a shot, 1,000 French soldiers backed by 200 Malian troops descended on the ancient desert trading post, as they tried to cut off the escape of al Qaeda-linked fighters.

But before they could be rounded up, the ragtag rebels scattered into the desert, torching homes, mosques and libraries, including the city’s £16-million Ahmed Baba Institute, home to some 20,000 ancient documents on culture, science and geography, as they left.

It comes as Prime Minister David Cameron assured French president Francois Hollande that Britain is ‘keen’ to help Paris with its military operation to oust the marauding militants.

Build by the South African government in 2009, the Ahmed Baba Institute was named after a Timbuktu-born contemporary of William Shakespeare and holds thousands of priceless manuscripts in its climate-controlled, underground vaults.

Speaking by phone, city mayor Ousmane Halle said: ‘They torched all the important ancient manuscripts. The ancient books of geography and science. It is the history of Timbuktu, of its people.’

No comments yet - you can be the first!

Comments are closed.

Do you Love your country but hate your government?

Join your fellow Libertarians who seek a world of liberty; a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others. Join over 500,000 Americans who get their daily dose of minimal government and maximum freedom with The New Liberty Movement.

We know how important your privacy is and your information is SAFE with us. We’ll never sell
your email address and you can unsubscribe at any time directly from your inbox.
View our full privacy policy.