The Awqaf, established in 1920, held some 7,000 manuscripts, mostly religious, but also including important early scientific works. Staff managed to move most of the collection to safety before the war, sending about a quarter of it, mostly comprising recently acquired material, under armed guard to a mosque. But when one of those guards was shot and killed by US troops on 14 April and the others disarmed, it was decided that the collection would be safer in the Awqaf building after all. That afternoon the library was set upon by organised looters, who stole 22 of the 32 trunks containing the returned manuscripts and then set fire to the building with flammable agents. The whole structure burned to the ground within quarter of an hour; an estimated 700 manuscripts were destroyed in the blaze and a further thousand or so looted.
Otra historia similar: un tanque voló el frente de la Academia de Ciencias de Irak, para sacar la bandera... tras eso, el 80 por ciento de los 58000 libros y los 2000 manuscritos que había fueron robados.