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KABUL, AFGHANISTAN, March 3, 2001: Troops from the Taliban religious militia, under orders from their supreme commander, Mullah Mohammed Omar, used explosives and rockets Saturday to destroy two towering statues of Buddha in Bamiyan. Already two-thirds of the country's statues have been eliminated. All the rest will be reduced to rubble on Sunday and Monday, despite worldwide pleas to save the priceless treasures. "The head and legs of the Buddha statues were destroyed yesterday,'' said Taliban Information Minister Quadratullah Jamal. "Our soldiers are working hard to demolish their remaining parts." Most of the country's ancient Buddhist relics, fragments of Afghanistan's pre-Islamic past, were destroyed, Jamal said. It is a testament to the Taliban's arsenal that they are able to expend a so much ammunition in the endeavor, without apparently lessening their military capability. Several related articles follow.