Mali

8:15am

Tue February 5, 2013
The Two-Way

Tuareg Fighters In Mali Arrest Fleeing Islamist Militant Leaders

Malian troops near Hambori, northern Mali are driving toward Gao on Monday, Feb. 4, 2013.
Jerome Delay AP

Here's a turnabout in Mali: ethnic Tuareg rebels once allied with Islamist militants have captured two militant leaders in the northwestern part of the country as they tried to escape into Algeria.

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8:24am

Sat February 2, 2013
The Two-Way

'Vive Francois Hollande!' France's President Visits Mali

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 9:15 am

French President Francois Hollande is surrounded by well-wishers on his short visit to Timbuktu, Mali, on Saturday.
Jerome Delay AP

The security situation in Northern Mali has improved with the arrival of the French military last month, so French president Francois Hollande traveled there Saturday for a one-day visit. He didn't stay in the southern capital, Bamako, which has remained under Malian government control, but instead flew north to the ancient city of Timbuktu to meet residents and thank French troops for their work in ousting Islamist rebels from the historic city.

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3:24pm

Wed January 30, 2013
The Two-Way

From Timbuktu, Reports That Manuscripts Have Been Saved

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 5:35 pm

A man attempts to salvage burnt manuscripts at the Ahmed Baba Institute in Timbuktu, Mali, on Tuesday. While some of the ancient manuscripts were destroyed by Islamist radicals, reports indicate that most were hidden and therefore survived.
Eric Feferberg AFP/Getty Images

Reports from Timbuktu, Mali, on Wednesday indicate that most of the ancient manuscripts at a famed library may have been saved by residents before Islamist radicals had the chance to burn them.

"I can say that the vast majority of the collections appear from our reports not to have been destroyed, damaged or harmed in any way," Shamil Jeppie, an expert on the documents who teaches at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, told Reuters.

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4:03pm

Tue January 29, 2013
The Two-Way

Ancient Manuscripts In Timbuktu Reduced To Ashes

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 4:49 am

Men recover burnt ancient manuscripts at the Ahmed Baba Institute in Timbuktu on Tuesday.
Eric Feferberg AFP/Getty Images

Update at 6:45 a.m. ET, Jan. 31: New reports from Timbuktu indicate that "most manuscripts were saved."

Our original post:

These photos from Timbuktu, Mali, on Tuesday confirmed what many had feared: Ancient books and texts at a famed library were torched by Islamic radicals before they fled.

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3:21am

Tue January 29, 2013
Africa

Timbuktu Freed From Islamist Fighters

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 6:36 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

The city of Timbuktu is free...

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: Mali, Mali, Mali, Mali...

INSKEEP: ...and residents cheered as French and Malian forces entered the city. Those forces swept aside Islamist rebels who'd controlled the place for months. The Islamists rule included amputations and the destroyed ancient tombs. It ended with the burning of a library housing priceless manuscripts.

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