DUHOK (Kurdistan 24) – A group was arrested in the Kurdistan Region’s Duhok province for stealing and trafficking hundreds of archaeological artifacts in the region, police announced on Thursday.
“The group of four had two who were from Sinjar (Shingal) town, currently residing in a camp in Zakho, and two from the actual town of Zakho,” Hemin Sleman, spokesperson for the Duhok Police, told reporters in a press conference.
Sleman did not reveal their identities, but stated the group had “admitted to stealing and trafficking over 1,700 archaeological artifacts in the province of Duhok.”
The suspects were apprehended while looting a site.
The Kurdistan Region possesses a rich history and is home to many archaeological sites spanning across its four provinces of Erbil, Sulaimani, Duhok, and Halabja.
A few days ago, locals in the town of Akre called on the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to investigate archaeological sites being dug up and damaged by perpetrators in search of valuables.
“Overnight, 20 sites were dug up between our village and another nearby one, with someone pilfering archaeological sites and graves,” Nayif Hashim told Kurdistan 24 on Tuesday.
Editing by Nadia Riva