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French soldiers patrol next to the Djingareyber mosque, on January... News Photo2012-2013 Northern Mali Conflict,Army Soldier,Conflict,French Culture,Horizontal,Mali,Mosque,Timbuktu - MaliPhotographer Collection: AFP 2013 AFPFrench soldiers patrol next to the Djingareyber mosque, on January 31, 2013 in Timbuktu. The fabled desert city of Timbuktu, an ancient centre of Islamic learning, has been recaptured on January 28 by French-led forces in their offensive against Islamist rebels who have been occupying Mali's north since last April. The extremists last year smashed up mausoleums of ancient saints and the entrance to the 15th-century Sidi Yahya mosque, claiming the sites were blasphemous. Reports had emerged in recent days that rebels fleeing the advancing soldiers had torched a building housing thousands of priceless manuscripts, but an expert said on January 30 that most had been smuggled to safety as the Islamists overran the city last year. AFP PHOTO / FRED DUFOUR (Photo credit should read FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images)