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Copper mining threatens ancient monastery

A mining operation in Afghanistan is threatening to destroy a 1,400-year-old Buddhist monastery.

The monks settled here because there was copper in the ground; it was part of a Buddhist kingdom. This was a way-station on the Silk Road, the route that would take Buddhism from India to Tibet, and beyond into China.

“The main thing for us is to document as much as we can before its destruction,” said Phillippe Marquis, a French archaeologist who has been working on the site, and is assisting in an emergency evacuation of the site.

“It was the copper in the ground that brought the monks here, made them rich and allowed them to build this monastery.”

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Story: BBC News | Photo: BBC News

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