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Mali soldier killed in first Timbuktu suicide bombing

A Malian soldier died in Timbuktu's first suicide bombing as the city came under assault overnight, triggering clashes in which ten Islamist fighters died, military officials said Thursday. The bomb went off near the ancient city's airport as a group of armed men clashed with French and Malian soldiers, in an incident that cast doubt on suggestions the Islamist resistance in Mali is close to being quashed.

France says 10 Islamists killed in overnight Timbuktu clashes dch/am/lc

France says 15 Islamist fighters killed in Timbuktu clashes dch/am/ach/lc

Mali soldier killed in suicide car bomb in Timbuktu

A Malian soldier was killed and two others wounded when a suicide bomber set off an explosives vest inside a car near the Timbuktu airport in northern Mali, a military source said Thursday. "A boobytrapped car exploded during the night (Wednesday) near the Timbuktu airport ... The jihadist who set off his belt was killed instantly and one of the soldiers injured in the explosion died in hospital," said the military source.

Suicide car-bomber kills Malian soldier in Timbuktu

BAMAKO (Reuters) - A suicide car-bomber killed a Malian soldier and wounded six others in a raid on the airport in Timbuktu overnight, a spokesman for Mali's army said on Thursday, triggering a counterattack by French forces. It was the first suicide bombing in Timbuktu since French and Malian forces chased al Qaeda-linked Islamist militants from the ancient trading town nearly two months ago, and comes weeks ahead of the planned start to France's withdrawal from Mali.

Two dead in car bombing in Timbuktu: Mali military source sd/lc/fb

Shots fired in Mali's Timbuktu after infiltration bid: security source sd/lc/jz

UNESCO ready to send mission to Mali soon

UNESCO is ready to send experts to Mali to assess damage to cultural treasures in the troubled north as soon as security conditions allow, its director general said Monday. Irina Bokova, on a visit to UN headquarters in New York, told journalists UNESCO's action plan for Mali, still was not fully funded. "We are approching possible donors," said the chief of the UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization.

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 part of the public Ahmed Baba Centre library, burning some 3,000 documents they considered sacrilegious. It was their second attempt to harm Timbuktu's rich cultural heritage, after destroying the mausoleums of 11 saints there in April last year.

Malian soldiers recalled over 'abuse' allegations: army

Malian soldiers fighting Islamists in the north of the country have been recalled from the front line after being accused of abuses, an army spokesman told the state television station ORTM late Monday. Those responsible had been recalled and would go before the relevant legal authorities Captain Modibo Naman Traore told the station. Traore revealed the news after being asked about reports of soldiers committing abuses against civilians in the northwest city of Timbuktu, which French and Malian forces recaptured from Islamists rebels on January 28.
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