in this image taken during an official visit organized by the Malian army to the town of Konna, some 680 kilometers (430 miles) north of Mali's capital Bamako Saturday , Jan. 26, 2013, an ammunition belt lays on the ground of a destroyed base used by Islamist rebels. One wing of Mali's Ansar Dine rebel group has split off to create its own movement, saying that they want to negotiate a solution to the crisis in Mali, in a declaration that indicates at least some of the members of the al-Qaida-linked group are searching for a way out of the extremist movement in the wake of French airstrikes. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Timbuktu mayor: Mali rebels torched library of ancient manuscripts
Islamist insurgents retreating from the ancient Saharan city of Timbuktu have set fire to a library containing thousands of priceless ancient manuscripts, some dating back to the 13th century, in what the town’s mayor described as a “devastating blow” to world heritage.
Hallé Ousmani Cissé told the Guardian that al-Qaida-allied fighters on Saturday torched two buildings where the manuscripts were being kept. They also burned down the town hall and governor’s office, and shot dead a man who was celebrating the arrival of the French military.
Full story: Timbuktu mayor: Mali rebels torched library of ancient manuscripts