‘Badass librarians’ foil al Qaeda, save ancient manuscripts

In 2012, heavily armed al Qaeda jihadists invaded parts of Mali and established Sharia law in the ancient city of Timbuktu. The fabled city housed a treasure trove of irreplaceable manuscripts of all kinds. The anti-education jihadists would have destroyed them all. In a story worthy of a spy novel, a group of librarians saved them, writes Simon Worrall in National Geographic.

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