Afghan empire's last symbols under threat





For more than eight centuries the "Towers of Victory" -- monuments to Afghanistan's greatest empire -- have survived wars and invasions, but now weather and neglect could cause them to come crashing down.

From its base in the Afghan city of Ghazni, the dynasty of Sultan Mahmoud Ghaznavi extended its rule to stretch from the River Tigris in modern day Iraq to the River Ganges in India.

The two toffee-colored minarets, adorned with terra-cotta tiles were raised in the early 12th century as monuments to the victories of the Afghan armies that built the empire.

Since then, Afghanistan has more often been victim of invasion than the perpetrator of them.

The upper portions of the Towers of Victory have eroded away over time, so now only the bases remain -- though they still stand at around 7 meters (24 feet) tall.

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