Troops enter Timbuktu -French Army Communications Audiovisual OfficeResidents of the ancient city of Timbuktu erupted in joy as French and Malian troops drove in on Monday after Islamist rebels fled to their last stronghold in the North.

For centuries a cosmopolitan city and a center of Islamic learning, Timbuktu was seized in April 2012 by radical Islamists who outlawed secular music, forced women to wear veils, and stoned in public those who broke their laws. The militants had destroyed ancient Muslim shrines and also burned manuscripts before fleeing.

On Monday however, residents of the city were celebrating their new-found freedom.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Japan announced it would give an extra $120 million to help stabilize the region. And the African Union pledged $50 million.

(READ more from Australian News)

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