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Medieval Sufi saints tombs destroyed by extremists in Timbuktu

Armed Islamists in Mali have bulldozed the tombs of three Sufi saints near Timbuktu. “They arrived aboard six or seven vehicles, heavily armed,” said Garba Maiga, a resident of Timbuktu, listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site for its ancient shrines. “They flattened everything with a bulldozer and pulled up

Islamic militants burn UNESCO World Heritage Site

An Islamic militant group with ties to al-Qaeda have burned a saints tomb in Timbuktu. Witnesses who went to pray at the tomb before the weekend said that a member of the Ansar Dine group on Friday tore off the doors of the tomb and set fire to it. “A new member

Fighting in Mali threatens Timbuktu World Heritage Site

Recent fighting in Mali is putting the ancient city of Timbuktu and its Islamic libraries at major risk. "They are essential to the preservation of the identity of the people of Mali and of our universal heritage," Unesco head Irina Bokova said, calling on all parties to fulfil international obligations to

Preserving Africa’s written heritage

The BBC has posted an interesting story about the preservation of Africa's old written materials at a new library in Timbuktu. Across Timbuktu, in cupboards, rusting chests, private collections and libraries, tens or perhaps hundreds of thousands of manuscripts bear witness to this legendary city's remarkable intellectual history, and by extension,

The 7 most impressive libraries ever

The News in Print blog has compiled a list of the seven most impressive libraries from through history. Another early library was the Celsus Library in Ephesus, built in 110 A.D. by the Council Gaius Julius Aquila. The library became one of the largest collections of antiquity, storing an estimated 12,000