Conflict & Justice

Timbuktu: Looting follows militants' ousting as world pledges aid


A man an a child carry a mirror as residents plunder stores they say belong to Arabs, Mauritanians and Algerians who they accuse of supporting the Al Qaeda-linked Islamists, on Jan. 29, 2013 in Timbuktu.


Eric Feferberg

Looters in Mali have reportedly raided Timbuktu shops owned by people they say are connected to Islamist militants who occupied the town for 10 months.

The AFP was told by residents on Tuesday that the stores pillaged were owned by "Arabs" and "terrorists," including Mauritanians and Algerians whom they allege backed the Al Qaeda-linked radicals.

By mid-morning, Malian soldiers stopped the looting.

"We will not let people pillage. But it is true that weapons were found in some shops," an anonymous officer told the Telegraph.

A French-led invasion recently ousted militants from Timbuktu. Members of the international community pledged about $455 million in military and humanitarian aid for Mali on Tuesday, the same day French President Francois Hollande declared to reporters: "We are winning in Mali."

"I am glad to report that the overall amount that was pledged here reached the amount of $455.53 million," said African Union peace and security commissioner Ramtane Lamamra.  

Funds came from the US, the European Union, and France, while Japan said it will give $120 million for toward refugee assistance and security, according to Bloomberg News