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Taliban Reportedly Has Smashed Buddhas

March 12, 2001|From Times Wire Reports

The Taliban religious militia has completely demolished two giant statues of Buddha hewn from a cliff face in central Afghanistan, international aid workers said--this despite desperate pleas from abroad to spare the 3rd- and 5th-century relics.

The destruction was ordered late last month by the Taliban, hard-line Muslims who rule most of Afghanistan and say statues are idolatrous.

Taliban Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmed Mutawakel told U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan during a meeting in Pakistan that there was nothing left of the statues, according to an international aid worker who attended the session.

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