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Saudis Helped Destroy Giant Afghan Buddhas

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One of the most infamous acts of the Taliban when they ruled Afghanistan was the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas, giant 1500-year old statues carved into the side of a mountain. At the time, all the members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, including Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, condemned the Taliban:

All OIC states - including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, three countries that officially recognised the Taliban government - joined the protest to spare the monuments. A statement issued by the ministry of religious affairs of Taliban regime justified the destruction as being in accordance with Islamic law. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates would later condemn the destruction as “savage.”

Today, Pakistan’s Daily Times reports that the Taliban had help—from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. (Hat tip: Brenda Walker.)

WASHINGTON: The Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan were destroyed by the Taliban with the help of Pakistani and Saudi engineers.

According to an account published here on Saturday, a local Afghan told the makers of a Swiss documentary on the giant statues which had stood there, carved in the side of a mountain for hundreds of years, had been destroyed by engineers from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The dynamiting of the statues took place in March 2001. Swiss documentary filmmaker Christian Frei, who has made several documentaries that have won praise at various international film festivals, shot ‘The Giant Buddhas’ in Afghanistan. The film is due to be shown at the National Gallery of Art in Washington on 26 March.

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