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Old families keep the secret of Timbuktu’s manuscripts

Though armed Islamists have left their town, the grand old families of Timbuktu are still wary of revealing the secret of how they safeguarded thousands of ancient manuscripts from destruction by extremists. Before they fled the fabled desert town in northern Mali at the end of January, the Islamists sacked…

Rebel clashes in Timbuktu prompts concern for ancient treasures

The seizure of Timbuktu by a fractious group of separatist and Islamist rebels in northern Mali has raised fears for the fate of the legendary city’s ancient manuscripts and architectural treasures. Timbuktu, a cradle of Islamic learning and a thriving trade centre in its 16th-century heyday, was overrun Sunday by…