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Thursday, 15 March, 2001, 19:26 GMT
Afghan Buddha destruction revealed
Remains of Ghazni Buddha
Little remains of the Ghazni Buddha
Photographs from Afghanistan have confirmed that the country's third largest giant Buddha statue has been reduced to rubble on the orders of the country's Taleban government.

The 16-metre long reclining Buddha at the temple in Tape-Sardar in Ghazni province was reportedly destroyed last week alongside another famous statue depicting Buddha with his foot on a calf.


For any delay.... 100 cows will be sacrificed as recompense

Voice of Shariat radio
The statues were built about 1,500 years ago at the same time as the twin Bamiyan statues, the world's largest, which were blown up over the weekend.

The fundamentalist Taleban authorities had ruled that the statues were anti-Islamic.

In a separate move, the Taleban ordered the slaughter of 100 cows to atone for what it called the "delay" in destroying the statues.

Reporter expelled

The Taleban's Voice of Shariat radio said its supreme leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, had ordered the slaughter of 12 cows in Kabul and at least three each in 29 other Taleban-controlled provincial capitals.

BBC correspondent Kate Clark
Kate Clark has now left Afghanistan
The radio announcer said: "For any delay... in the demolition of the statues in Afghanistan, 100 cows will be sacrificed as recompense".

The Ghazni statues had survived the rampages of the 11th Century Ghazna emperor, Sultan Mahmood Ghaznawi, who destroyed numerous Indian temples and referred to himself as an idol breaker.

Despite repeated international appeals to save Afghanistan's heritage, on Wednesday the Taleban confirmed that the Bamiyan Buddhas had been completely levelled.

On Thursday, BBC correspondent Kate Clark arrived in Pakistan after being expelled from Afghanistan for broadcasting what the Taleban described as "biased" reports of the Bamiyan statues destruction.

Clark said she believed the main reason for her expulsion was her filing of a report in which she said most Afghans opposed the statues' demolition.

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See also:

15 Mar 01 | South Asia
Expulsion reflects Taleban anger
14 Mar 01 | South Asia
Full text of Taleban statement
14 Mar 01 | South Asia
Bosnia asks for ruined Buddhas
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