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|Sunday, March 18, 2001, updated at 10:27(GMT+8)|
Taliban Confirms Destruction of Two Bamyan Buddha StatuesAfghan Taliban Minister of Information and Culture Qodratollah Jamal Saturday disclosed in Kabul that the two famous Bamyan Buddha statues were "completely destroyed", reported Radio Kabul.
Speaking to the media, Jamal said that by drilling holes into the statues and placing explosives inside the holes, they had already destroyed the statues and "nothing is left."
It was yet to be decided on what will be done with the pieces of the two Buddha statues after their total destruction, he added.
However, he rejected suggestions that the pieces could be turned over to Japan or any other country by saying that if the pair have any archaeological value they must remain in Afghanistan.
His statements quashed speculation that the two statues in Bamyan Province, located about 100 kilometers northwest of Kabul, might have been only partly destroyed. One of the two Buddha statues which stood at 53 meters was the world's tallest Buddha.
Jamal said that journalists would only be allowed to travel to Bamyan once the situation has "stabilized." UNESCO's Lafrance earlier told reporters that the Taliban authorities rejected his request to travel to Bamyan due to the unstable situation in the war zone.
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