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BAMIYAN, AFGHANISTAN, March, 11, 2001: The two giant Buddha statues had stood guard over the Bamiyan valley for centuries until they were destroyed by Afghanistan's ruling Taleban. Foreign minister, Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil, told UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in Pakistan that demolition was still continuing, and all the country's moveable statues had been destroyed. While the Taleban say they acted because the statues were "un-Islamic," a delegation from the world's largest Muslim body, the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) had travelled to Afghanistan to try to change their minds. The statues were once a big tourist draw and dated back to between the second and fifth centuries AD, before the coming of Islam, when Afghanistan was a centre of Buddhist learning and pilgrimage. Egypt's top religious leader, Mufti Sheikh Nasr Farid Wassel, who is travelling with the OIC delegation, said: "The proof that these statues have no negative impact on Islam is that throughout Islam's history in Afghanistan they were preserved and no Muslim doctrine has suggested their destruction."