Looting in Timbuktu as donors pledge millions for Mali war
TIMBUKTU, Mali (AFP) - Hundreds of Malians looted shops Tuesday in Timbuktu, newly freed from Islamists, as global donors pledged over US$455 million (S$561 million) for a French-led drive to expel the extremists from the north.
Life had started returning to normal after French and Malian troops on Monday entered the fabled desert city which had been subjected for months to brutal Islamic law, but soon a large angry crowd set to pillaging.
They plundered stores they said belonged to Arabs, Mauritanians and Algerians whom they accuse of supporting the Al Qaeda-linked Islamists during their 10-month rule over the ancient centre of Islamic learning.
The looters took everything from arms and military communications equipment to televisions, food and furniture, emptying shops in minutes.