Afghan conflict threatens ancient sites, artifacts

Written by The Frontier Post

KABUL (TOLOnews): Ancient sites and artifacts are vulnerable to damage and trafficking due to the ongoing conflicts in various parts of the country, “especially in areas under Taliban influence,” said the acting minister of information and culture, Qasim Wafaeezada.
He said most of these artifacts and sites are in Kandahar, Samangan and Balkh.
“Unknown individuals, who might be opportunistic mafia, have started excavations and have even prohibited people’s presence in those areas,” he said.
He asked the people to prevent the trafficking and damage to historical sites and artifacts.
“The Abu Nasr Parsa mosque has been partially damaged. Its doors have been damaged. Work has started to restore the five ancient sites in Helmand,” Wafaeezada said.
Figures by the Information and Culture Ministry show that 32 historical sites in Samangan, 31 in Balkh, at least 10 in Kandahar and some in Helmand and Takhar are located in areas under Taliban influence and the ministry is concerned about their safety.
“In the ongoing war, which mostly has foreign dimensions, efforts are made to damage these assets of Afghanistan,” said Haroon Hakimi, the deputy minister of information and culture.

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