Armed groups have been digging for ancient artifacts at the Garza archeological site in Fayoum, said eyewitnesses. Watchmen guarding the area said the armed groups came to the site several times at night with automatic weapons, forcing them to leave the area so that they could dig and search for artifacts.
The watchmen complained that the small number of watchmen and their inadequate weapons facilitates made it difficult to protect such archeological sites.
Watchman Ruby Mohamed Abdel Salam said he worked with nine other watchmen to guard the 600 acre site in shifts. He said that he and his fellow watchmen were only armed with 9 mm pistols, which are no match for the automatic weapons used by the armed groups, especially considering the large area of land they are guarding. Abdel Salam also complained that their bullet supplies are running low.
Another watchman, Samir Abdel Dayim, said the armed groups had exploited the security vacuum and attacked the area several times, digging for artifacts all night long and leaving behind dozens of deep holes.
Translated from the Arabic Edition