The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Cash-strapped Taliban selling tickets to ruins of Buddhas it blew up

By Rick Noack

15 Jun 2023 · 6 min read

informed Summary

  1. In 2001, Taliban founder Mohammad Omar ordered the destruction of Afghanistan’s two great Buddha figures, dating from the sixth century.

BAMIAN, Afghanistan - The three Taliban soldiers gazed down at the gaping hole in the 125-foot cliff where one of Afghanistan's two great Buddha figures once stood and wondered aloud who was to blame for its destruction 22 years ago.

"This is the identity of our country," said Kheyal Mohammad, 44, wearing a camouflage cap as he bent over a railing at the top of the giant cavity. "It shouldn't have been bombed."

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