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Timbuktu comes out of hiding

January 18th, 2013
05:15 PM ET

By Lucky Gold & Richa Naik, CNN

For nine months Islamic militants have had the legendary city of Timbuktua in a head lock, destroying ancient monuments and enforcing their brand of Sharia law in northern Mali.

France now has 1,800 troops on the ground in Mali and has pledged to keep them there until stability returns to the nation.

Even though French troops have not reached Timbuktu yet, the rebels have withdrawn and people are coming out of hiding.

Some victims of the militants bear horrific scars and tell stories of draconian punishment, but now people are beginning to celebrate.

One man there said just being able to step out and smoke a cigarette was a sign of progress.

Women can choose to walk outside again without a headscarf and people are waving French flags in Bamako, Mali’s capital city.

France’s president vows that French troops will stay “as long as it takes” to build Mali’s army back up, so that country can take on the long struggle against the Islamic militants.

RELATED: What's behind Mali instability?


Filed under:  Latest Episode • Mali
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. ernie meyer

    tell the French to send in more troops due to the lack of appropriate response from the rest of the EU

    January 18, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Reply
  2. Tariq Touareq

    I understood from this article that France is invading Mali because the rebel ban smoking, destroyed monuments, prohibit women from walking outside without headscarf. I cannot buy this argument, there must be a stronger reason.

    January 19, 2013 at 7:48 pm | Reply
  3. desert voice

    There are three al-Qaeda bases in Libya, right on the Algerian border. The question is: who should destroy them and when? Is Libya willing and able to do it? Or perhaps the U.S. will have to destroy those bases?

    January 20, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Reply
    • J M

      These comments and lack of coverage of this whole issue show the HUGE disconnect of the media and the reality in Mali.

      I regularly read liberal (Huff, MSNBC), central (CNN), and conservtive (Fox) news sites.

      Fox ran an excellent well-sourced article on terroism in northern Mali a couple weeks ago. Well over $100 million of construction equipment has been stolen from companies in the region, and terrorists are creating HUGE networks of tunnels and caves with months of supplies in their fortresses. And we thought Bin Laden's Tora Bora was bad.

      The fact that CNN and leftist news has essentially IGNORED this story and that there are so few comments on this show that Obama and other liberals have truely deceived this country into thinking the "war on terror" is being handily won. It will not be long and attacks on American soil will be stemming from this region. I am certain plans are in the works for such as you read this.

      January 25, 2013 at 11:04 pm | Reply

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