Timbuktu's threatened treasures – The famous mosque at Sankore, part of Timbuktu's medieval university. The mosque's sanctuary was proportioned to match the Kaaba at Mecca, which had been measured with a rope during a pilgrimage.
Timbuktu's threatened treasures – Outside the Djinguereber mosque, one of the three schools which comprised the medieval Islamic university of Timbuktu.
Timbuktu's threatened treasures – A man prays inside the Sankore mosque in Timbuktu, Mali. The city is now in the hands of rebels who have proclaimed it part of an independent Tuareg state, Azawad.
Timbuktu's threatened treasures – Inside the mosque complex. The buildings are constructed from mud bricks and adobe in a prime example of what is known as the Sudano-Sahelian architectural style.
Timbuktu's threatened treasures – People climb the mosque. The buildings are important sources of income to Timbuktu locals, drawing tourists from around the world, but the fighting is expected to lead to a collapse of the industry.