The 2,000-year-old statue of the Buddha at Bamyan, prior to its destruction by the Taliban in May 2001 (epa)
July 29, 2006 -- Afghan officials report that gunmen killed four Afghan police early on July 29 at a checkpoint near an archaeological site in the northern province of Balkh. Police say the gunmen are suspected to be antiquities smugglers.
Historical monuments were recently discovered at the site, which lies near the border with Uzbekistan.
The site is close to the remains of the ancient city of Eskandar, which was founded by Alexander the Great when his army passed through the area more than 2,300 years ago.