This is coolbert:
As originally reported by the DEBKAfile:
January 28, 2013 Briefs:
"Fleeing Islamists burn priceless Timbuktu library
"As French-led Malian troops captured the airport of the world heritage town of Timbuktu Monday, fleeing Islamists set fire to the Baba Ahmed Institution and its priceless ancient manuscripts"
The actions of the savage, the barbarian, the callous and unfeeling conqueror. Destroying those manuscripts and archives, the scholarship as accumulated from medieval times, the very essence of civilization and learning put to the torch, arson of a horrific nature.
Ancient manuscripts as might have been found at the University of Timbuktu in the medieval period. Students from all parts of Saharan Africa being able to avail themselves of a level of scholarship at least equal [?] to the learning as would have been found during the same period at Oxford, Cambridge, the Sorbonne, Bologna, Salamanca.
"The University of Timbuktu was a medieval university in Mali, West Africa . . . During its zenith, the university at Timbuktu had an average attendance of around 25,000 students within a city of around 100,000 people."
The retreating jihadists behaving in the manner of the Mongol at Baghdad , the German at Leuven . The library in a purposeful manner during a time of war a target for arson, manuscripts and archives totally destroyed, lost forever. That form of destruction a very ancient tradition most regrettable!
That damage however, does not seem to be as bad as might be expected. Precautions evidently taken in advance, the danger realized far in advance and measures taken to protect the manuscripts and archives. SOME items lost, but the bulk saved! So it seems.
"Timbuktu Locals Saved Some of City’s Ancient Manuscripts from Islamists"
"the center’s collection of about 40,000 ancient manuscripts, some of the 300,000 or so historic documents stashed in libraries in Timbuktu and the villages around it, mostly as family heirlooms.
Realizing that the documents might be prime targets for pillaging or vindictive attacks from Islamic extremists, staff left behind just a small portion of them, perhaps out of haste, but also to conceal the fact that the center had been deliberately emptied"
To what extent these jihadi in Mali are Salafist I am not sure. And to what extent there was religious motivation for the torching of the archives and manuscripts I also cannot say. This was more than anything else a perverse petulance and nothing more? ONLY the perpetrators know for sure.