Thursday, April 26, 2018

French military enters Timbuktu, finds ancient library torched

SEVARE, Mali — Backed by French helicopters and paratroopers, Malian soldiers entered the fabled city of Timbuktu on Monday after al-Qaida-linked militants who ruled the outpost for nearly 10 months fled into the desert, setting fire to a library that held thousands of manuscripts dating to the Middle Ages.

French Col. Thierry Burkhard, chief military spokesman in Paris, said that there had been no combat with the Islamists but that the French and Malian forces did not yet control the town.

Timbuktu, a city of mud-walled buildings and 50,000 people, was for centuries a seat of Islamic learning and a major trading center along the North African caravan routes that carried slaves, gold and salt.

Michael Covitt, chairman of the Malian Manuscript Foundation, called the arson a "desecration to humanity."

"These manuscripts are irreplaceable. They have the wisdom of the ages and it's the most important find since the Dead Sea Scrolls," he said.

Just over two weeks after the French began their military intervention in Mali to counter the militant Islamists, French and Malian forces arrived in Timbuktu overnight, the French military spokesman said.

Fighting alongside Malian and African forces, the French captured another northern town, Gao, on Saturday, according to France's Defense Ministry. Taking full control of Timbuktu would make Kidal the last northern city the rebels control.

Comments
Review: Foo Fighters drop an all-night rock revival on Tampaís MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

Review: Foo Fighters drop an all-night rock revival on Tampaís MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

Dave Grohl charged out like a pre-tween hopped up on Code Red, sprinting from corner to corner of the stage, all kinds of jacked up to preach the high holy gospel of RAWK."You know why I'm here? Do you know why I came here tonight?" the Foo Fighters ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Oregon marijuana: Lots of data, few to analyze and check it

Oregon marijuana: Lots of data, few to analyze and check it

Oregon is awash in data on its marijuana industry but has few workers to monitor and check what its legal businesses are doing
Updated: 1 hour ago
Q&A: Why Colorado, Arizona teachers are walking off the job

Q&A: Why Colorado, Arizona teachers are walking off the job

Tens of thousands of schoolteachers are walking off the job in Colorado and Arizona, though their demands and state laws on walkouts differ
Updated: 1 hour ago
Ford promises more savings as 1Q earnings rise 9 percent

Ford promises more savings as 1Q earnings rise 9 percent

Ford's net income rises 9 percent in the first quarter while company says it's found more cost efficiencies
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rockets advance to 2nd round with eyes on bigger goals

Rockets advance to 2nd round with eyes on bigger goals

Rockets advance to 2nd round with eyes on bigger goals
Updated: 1 hour ago

Wednesday's Sports in Brief

Wednesday's Sports in Brief
Updated: 1 hour ago
Deutsche Bank ekes out profit, refocuses investment bank

Deutsche Bank ekes out profit, refocuses investment bank

Deutsche Bank first quarter profit $146 million as exchange rates, lower investment bank revenues weighed on profits
Updated: 1 hour ago
Accused serial rapist and killer undetected working as cop

Accused serial rapist and killer undetected working as cop

The suspected Golden State Killer became less prolific but deadlier after losing his job as a police officer
Updated: 2 hours ago

AP Top News at 2:29 a.m. EDT

AP Top News at 2:29 a.m. EDT
Updated: 2 hours ago

Royal Dutch Shell says 1Q earnings rose 67 percent

Energy company Royal Dutch Shell says 1st Q earnings rose 67 percent, boosted by a rebound in oil prices and growth in its natural gas business
Updated: 2 hours ago