How many of Timbuktu's priceless manuscripts were destroyed?

From Foreign Policy Mon Jan 28 2013, 16:01:08

Islamist rebels apparently decided to take one last shot at the city of Timbuktu's cultural heritage as they fled Malian and French troops. Reuters reports

Timbuktu Mayor Ousmane Halle reported that departing Islamist gunmen had set ablaze a South African-funded library in the city containing thousands of invaluable manuscripts.

"The rebels set fire to the newly-constructed Ahmed Baba Institute built by the South Africans ... This happened four days ago," Ousmane told Reuters by telephone from Bamako. He said he had received the information from his chief of communications who had traveled south from the city a day ago.

Ousmane was not able to immediately say how much the concrete building had been damaged. He added the rebels also set fire to his office and the home of a member of parliament.

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