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DAKAR, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Islamist fighters fleeing Mali's ancient Saharan city of Timbuktu as French and Malian troops closed in set fire to a South African-funded library there containing thousands of priceless manuscripts, the city's mayor said on Monday.
"The rebels sit fire to the newly-constructed Ahmed Baba Institute built by the South Africans ... this happened four days ago," Halle Ousmane told Reuters by telephone from Bamako. He said he had received the information from his chief of communications who had travelled south from the city a day ago.
Ousmane was not able to immediately say how much the building had been damaged. (Reporting by Bate Felix in Dakar; Writing by Pascal Fletcher)