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Timbuktu- Mali - Jan. 28

1. Wide of cheering residents

2. Wide of tank

3. Wide of empty shelves and mound of ash

4. SOUNDBITE: No Name Given (Transcript Below)

5. Stills of timbuktu treasures

6. Wide of damage

7. Close of sign

8.SOUNDBITE: French MOS (Transcript Below)

9. Wide of damage

10. Tight of cheering crowds

VOICE-OVER SCRIPT:

It is both victory and defeat in Timbuktu.

French troops alongside those from Mali drove out Muslim extremists in the past few days, only to find this - empty shelves and mounds of ashes of what used to be ancient manuscripts.

SOT No name given

they said, because their religion doesn't accept that. For me, it doesn't make any sense. And we tried to fight. Who to fight? We are on our own. We don't have guns to fight them, we don't have nothing."

Timbuktu used to have it all.

For centuries it was a seat of Islamic learning and a major trading center along the North African caravan routes.

The library there housed manuscripts dating back to the 12th century and covered subjects ranging from science, astrology and medicine to history, theology, grammar and geography.

The militants controlled the area for about a year, imposing strict Sharia law.

NAT SOUND FRENCH

This resident says they were sick of the extremists adding they couldn't smoke have tea or listen to music.

The extremists though, torched the library as they fled and systematically destroyed cultural sites including the ancient tombs of Sufi saints.

However, all may not be lost.

Some of the documents had been removed from Timbuktu or hidden away for safekeeping by residents determined to save some of the city's fabled history.

SIGOUT - Name/Associated Press

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