Early on Saturday morning the news spread about 3 guards were injured and two statues were stolen in an attack on an antiquities storage on west bank of Luxor. General Mohamed Salah Zaid (The head of the Police administration in Luxor) said at 10:30am that the news about 15 armed men attacking temporary antiquities storage on Amenhotep III temple site is not true.
Nearly an hour after that Gen. Mohamed Salah said that he received a report stated that 11 men with sticks managed to break into the storage and steal 2 statues.
The story started at 3:30am Saturday when a group of thugs attacked the guards and stole 2 statues, one was found last Wednesday (38cm height,23cm width and 26cm thickness) which is a head with the left side broken and the other statue of Sekhmet (69cm height and 40cm width). It was stated that the storage was not locked and the guards statements about what happened to them varied between they got drugged, beaten and tide down also there was a power cut at the time of the attack.
As it was the early hours of Saturday when they did their attack, it was also the early hours of Sunday when the police in co-operation with the army arrested 3 men of the group and working on arresting the other. The 2 statues were retrieved from the main suspect’s house in Nag’ Khalifa,Qurna where one of the thugs lives. The arrested men names as follows: Ahmed Zot(Sculptor),Shaban Taya Ahmed(Farmer),Hassan El azb Hassan El rawi(nephew of the main man) and Mahmoud Hassan Abo Elmagd(drives a microbus No. 2963 Luxor). They are going to stand for a military trial in Qena.
As exclusive news to Luxor Times, our reporter, Nermeen Nagdi, got a statement from a police source said there were only 8 men with machine guns not 11 nor 15 men with sticks as it was mentioned in some media sources and they attacked the 2 guards who were on the eastern side of the site, tied them with their own scarves before they drug them and when another guards went over to bring his colleagues tea he was attacked and tied up too and they were locked in the security cabin.
It got to our knowledge that the 2 statues were back in the same storage to be restored before they may be relocated.