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Illegal digging on historical sites continues in Badghis


Illegal digging on historical sites continues in Badghis

Feb 07, 2016 - 19:02

QALA-I-NAW (Pajhwok): Local officials and residents say a number of people have been illegally digging heritage sites to find and plunder monuments in Ab Kamari and Qadis districts of northwestern Badghis province.

Mohammad Sarwar, a resident of Qarcheghy village of Qadis district, told Pajhwok Afghan News that some people had been digging Almas and Malak Antar historical sites in his area over the past one month.

When asked who were involved in the digging, the resident said: “There are some people who have been always busy destroying heritage sites and stealing monuments.”

Asked if the looters had found something precious so far, Sarwar said: “Possibly they have found monuments, but I have no information. We want the government to protect the historical sites.”

He said people in the past had found statues, clay jars and other monuments by illegal digging on the historical sites.

Some people in Ab Kamari district said illegal digging of historical sites was ongoing in their district as well.

Ghulam Yahya, a resident of Dehistan area, said illegal digging of historical sites was underway in Sina-i-Ardo, Chilanak, Dehistan and Qala Nariman areas from the past one month.

“The diggers may have found precious monuments. I cannot name those who are involved in the digging,” he said.

He said illegal digging of historical sites was common in winter but no one had intervened so far to stop the destruction of the sites.

According to reports, Dehistan was one of the most influential cities of Badghis province in the past and Chilanak area had a history spanning more than 1,000 years before Islam.

Yahya said people in the past too had been digging at Sina-i-Ardo area where jars of clay and some other monuments were found.

Badghis information and culture director Abdul Khalil Frotan confirmed the illegal digging and said Abpoda, a historical site in Jawand district, faced the same problem.

He said most of the historical sites being dug were in areas controlled by Taliban militants. “There is so far no information if precious monuments have been found in these areas,” he added.

Badghis deputy police chief Abdul Aziz Amani said they had directed all district police headquarters and detective organs to prevent illegal digging of historical sites. He asked Badghis people to support security forces in protecting the heritage sites.