Cultural sites in Afghanistan threatened by war

Hundreds of ancient sites and artifacts in Afghanistan are vulnerable to damage and trafficking due to the conflict and ongoing instability in various parts of Afganistan, Qasim Wafaeezada Afghanistan acting minister of information and culture said warned, saying the risk in even more in areas held by insurgents

Jul 19, 2021
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Cultural sites in Afghanistan

Hundreds of ancient sites and artifacts in Afghanistan are vulnerable to damage and trafficking due to the conflict and ongoing instability in various parts of Afganistan, Qasim Wafaeezada Afghanistan acting minister of information and culture said warned, saying the risk in even more in areas held by insurgents.

“Unknown individuals, who might be opportunistic mafia, have started excavations and have even prohibited people’s presence in those areas,” Qasim was quoted as saying by TOLOnews. Most of these artifacts and sites are in Kandahar, Samangan, and Balkh--all of them witnessing heavy fighting.

Seeking public cooperation, he asked people to prevent the trafficking and damage to historical sites and artifacts.

The Abu Nasr Parsa mosque, a famous mosque in the western city of Herat representing the Naqshbandi order of Sufism, has been partially damaged in the fighting.  The doors have been damaged, he claimed. Work has started to restore the five ancient sites in Helmand, he further informed. 

The Information and Culture Ministry said that 32 historical sites in Samangan province, 31 in Balkh, at least 10 in Kandahar, and some in Helmand and Takhar are located in areas under Taliban influence and the ministry is concerned about their safety.

(SAM)