More than 200,000 manuscripts saved from destruction in Timbuktu

World scholars are breathing a sigh of relief as news reached them that more than 80 percent of the precious manuscripts from Timbuktu were smuggled to safety. Many were driven by car and truck to the Malian capital of Bamako.

The international effort reads like a spy novel, with priceless manuscripts hidden under lettuce and fruit in the backs of trucks. Timbuktu was captured last year by separatist rebels and Islamic radicals who destroyed a number of ancient shrines including some sacred to Sufi Muslims.