Virtually all Afghanistan's historic statues have been destroyed, according to the country's rulers. Taliban Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil told United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Sunday of the destruction. The demolishing of the statues, including the world's tallest standing Buddha, was ordered last month by Afghanistan's hard-line Muslim rulers, known as the Taliban. A cleric had ruled that all religious statues are "false idols" in violation of Islamic laws. Two Buddhas carved into sandstone cliffs in Bamiyan city more than 1,500 years ago were among those targeted for destruction. Muttawakil said the act had nothing to do with U.N. sanctions imposed against the country in January.
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