Timbuktu, an ancient city in the north of Mali has been under attack from Ansar Dine militants linked to Al-Qaeda. The 1000 years old city with more than 16 mosques and lakhs of ancient manuscripts is a declared world heritage site which is under the threat of great loss now.
Timbuktu known to many as a mythical place has been in recent news for the destruction of the World Heritage site. The Sidi Yahia mosque came under attack by the Ansar Dine and MNLA outfits which are linked to Al-Qaeda. The UN-Security Council has strongly criticised the destruction caused and has noted it as a war crime. This case of could be referred to the International Court of Justice in Hague.
Timbuktu is a cultural city in Tombouctou region of Mali. African country of Mali with the capital Azawad is located in Western Africa. Geographically it is situated on the northern side of the River Niger and on the southern part of the Sahara desert. You can buy images of the place and the surrounding area depicting the culture and tradition of the region along with the mosques. Timbuktu is a 1000 year old city with a population of 53,453 as per the census conducted in the year 2009. In the 12th century Timbuktu starting emerging as a prominent trading centre of the region. It was a flourishing centre for the trade of salt, gold, slaves and ivory. It is said that during that period salt was traded for gold for an equal weight. The city came under the rule of Mali Empire and the dominating Tuareg tribes. In its golden period it had been the biggest learning centre and important book trading place.
In the ancient past Timbuktu was a learning place for thousands of students from around the world to learn Islam. It boasted of 60 libraries with around 300,000 manuscripts. The Ahmed Baba Institute of higher learning and Islamic research centre still preserves many documents and manuscripts from the earlier times. It was established as the renowned scholarly centre with writers, such as Leo Africanus and Shabeni. You can buy content explaining in detail about the literature and traditions of this region. Timbuktu came to fame from three hundred and thirty three mosques built in the 15 and 16 century, and hence also became famous as the ‘City of333 Saints’. The stories from this period had made it look mystical by the writers in the European countries who considered them to be ‘far off place’.
In April 2012 the city was captured by the Tuareg rebels of MNLA and the Ansar Dine. Within a week of its capture the city was declared independent of Mali as a nation. They currently hold control of the three main areas of Timbuktu, Gao and Kidal. The declared area does not have the support of the locals or the recognition of the international community. The attack was carried by dozens of armed militants with guns and pickaxes on the 14 century Djingareyber mosque.
You can buy news articles through which you can get details about the incidences and the attacks carried out by these militants. The militants destroyed several of the mosques surrounding the area. In spite of the strong resistant from the local people and the international organisations like that of the UNESCO, the destruction has been in the process. It is more important for the international community and the surrounding nations to put pressure on the militant groups in order to stop the attack on the world heritage sites. Or else we shall see another loss, similar to that of the Bamiyan Buddhas done by the Taliban a decade ago.