- A pair of 6th century monumental statues known as theBuddhas of Bamiyan were dynamited by the Taliban in 2001, who had declared them heretical idols.
- The Islamic State (IS) has destroyed much of the cultural heritage in the areas it controls in Iraq. At least 28 religious buildings have been looted and destroyed, including Shiite mosques, tombs, shrines and churches. In addition, numerous ancient and medieval sites and artifacts, including the ancient cities of Nimrud and Hatra, parts of the wall ofNineveh, the ruins of Bash Tapia Castle and Dair Mar Elia, and artifacts from the Mosul Museum were also destroyed.
- Swat Valley in Pakistan has many Buddhist carvings, stupas and Jehanabad contains a Seated Buddha status. Kushan era Buddhist stupas and status in Swat valley were demolished by the Taliban and after two attempts by the Taliban, the Jehanabad Buddha’s face was dynamited. Only the Bamiyan Buddhas were larger than the carved giant Buddha status in Swat near Mangalore which the Taliban attacked. The government did nothing to safeguard the statue after the initial attempt at destroying the Buddha, which did not cause permanent harm, and when the second attack took place on the statue the feet, shoulders, and face were demolished. Islamists, such as the Taliban and looters, destroyed much of Pakistan’s Buddhist artifacts left over from the Buddhist Gandhara civilization especially in Swat Valley. The Taliban deliberately targeted Gandhara Buddhist relics for destruction. The Christian Archbishop of Lahore Lawrence John Saldanha wrote a letter to Pakistan’s government denouncing the Taliban activities in Swat Valley including their destruction of Buddha statues and their attacks on Christians, Sikhs, and Hindus. Gandhara Buddhist artifacts were illegally looted by smugglers.
- The Islamic State destroyed the Lion of Al-lāt, the temples ofBel and Baalshamin, the Arch of Triumph and other sites inPalmyra. The group also destroyed the Monastery of St. Elian, the Armenian Genocide Memorial Church, and several ancient sculptures in the city of Ar-Raqqah.