Jan. 29 - A warm welcome for French and Malian forces as they push Islamists outside Timbuktu. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
A warm welcome as French and Malian troops enter Timbuktu. For nine months the ancient Sahara trading town was under control of Islamist forces. Now residents offer thanks. French President Francois Hollande ordered a military intervention earlier this month to halt an Islamist move towards the capital, Bamako. Now young men smoke on the streets -- a practice banned under Islamist rule. A young woman points to a prison cell she shared with as many as 14 other detainees. . (SOUNDBITE) (French) WOMAN SAYING: "I had the veil and it fell off my head. They took me to prison where they beat me. Every day 15 lashes with a whip." In the library century old texts litter the floor. Some are lost forever. A man paints over the sign at the Islamic police quarters...a sign that they ancient city is ready to move on.