French military enters Malian town of Timbuktu

January 28, 2013
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A Malian family's taxi is searched at a checkpoint on the Gao road outside Sevare, some 620 kilometers (385 miles) north of Mali's capital Bamako, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013. French and Malian troops held a strategic bridge and the airport in the northern town of Gao on Sunday as their force also pressed toward Timbuktu, another stronghold of Islamic extremists in northern Mali, officials said. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

PARIS (AP) — The chief French military spokesman says French forces have entered the north Malian town of Timbuktu after seizing the airport and roads leading to the fabled city overnight.

French Col. Thierry Burkhard said Monday that there had been no combat with the Islamists who have ruled Timbuktu for nearly 10 months, but he said the French and Malian forces do not yet control the town.

News of their arrival came just hours after Timbuktu's mayor confirmed that ancient manuscripts had been torched in Timbuktu by fleeing extremists.

Over the weekend, French and Malian forces entered another northern provincial capital, Gao.

While the Islamists have not yet put up much of a fight, it remains to be seen what kind of opposition the forces will face in the coming days.