CAIRO: An antiquities guard was shot dead in clashes with anonymous armed men who attempted to loot an archaeological site in Upper Egypt’s governorate of Minya, Youm7 reported Saturday.
The guard, who foiled the looting attempt, was in charge of Minya’s archaeological site of Deir el-Bersha. Another guard was injured during the attack which occurred Friday evening, security sourc told Youm7.
However, the perpetrators have fled the scene and security forces combed the area shortly after the attack.
Deir al-Barsha is well known for its Middle Kingdom (2040B.C.-1600B.C.) rock-cut tombs built for the nomarchs of the 15th Upper Egyptian nom. The most spectacular of the tombs is that of Djehuti Hotep; an estate manager and high-ranking official.
Political turmoil in Egypt since the January 25 Revolution in 2011 and the subsequent security lapse left the country’s cultural heritage vulnerable to looting. In spite of the efforts of the Egyptian government in tracking artifacts smuggled outside Egypt and in auction houses abroad, the issue is still unsettled.