In this image taken on Saturday Feb. 2, 2013, Baba Ahmed, 26, AP’s correspondent in Bamako, walks on the sand dunes near his neighborhood in Timbuktu, Mali where his used to picnic with friends when he was in high school in Timbuktu between 2003 and 2005. In Baba Ahmed's own words, not a single light could be seen in my hometown of Timbuktu as we approached it at night just days after it was liberated from the al-Qaida-linked militants who ruled for nearly 10 months. The last time Baba had visited was in May, a month after the Islamic rebels seized Timbuktu. After my visit I covered my hometown’s plight for The Associated Press from the distant capital of Bamako, straining for information over the telephone each week about what had become of this city I love. (AP Photo/Harouna Traore)

Associated Press
In this image taken on Saturday Feb. 2, 2013, Baba Ahmed, 26, AP’s correspondent in Bamako, walks on the sand dunes near his neighborhood in Timbuktu, Mali where his used to picnic with friends when he was in high school in Timbuktu between 2003 and 2005.  In Baba Ahmed's own words, not a single light could be seen in my hometown of Timbuktu as we approached it at night just days after it was liberated from the al-Qaida-linked militants who ruled for nearly 10 months. The last time Baba had visited was in May, a month after the Islamic rebels seized Timbuktu. After my visit I covered my hometown’s plight for The Associated Press from the distant capital of Bamako, straining for information over the telephone each week about what had become of this city I love.  (AP Photo/Harouna Traore)
In this image taken on Saturday Feb. 2, 2013, Baba Ahmed, 26, AP’s correspondent in Bamako, walks on the sand dunes near his neighborhood in Timbuktu, Mali where his used to picnic with friends when he was in high school in Timbuktu between 2003 and 2005. In Baba Ahmed's own words, not a single light could be seen in my hometown of Timbuktu as we approached it at night just days after it was liberated from the al-Qaida-linked militants who ruled for nearly 10 months. The last time Baba had visited was in May, a month after the Islamic rebels seized Timbuktu. After my visit I covered my hometown’s plight for The Associated Press from the distant capital of Bamako, straining for information over the telephone each week about what had become of this city I love. (AP Photo/Harouna Traore)
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