Taliban says most of ancient Buddhas destroyed

NEW DELHI, India (CNN) -- Afghanistan's ruling Taliban said Saturday it has blown up most of the massive, ancient Buddhas at Bamiyan despite worldwide pleas to spare them.

Taliban Information Minister Qudratullah Jamal said Saturday that the fundamentalist Muslim movement's troops used rockets and mortars to destroy the head and legs of the sandstone statues, which are carved into the side of a cliff in central Afghanistan.

"Our soldiers are working hard to demolish their remaining parts. They will come down soon," Jamal said.