Security personnel thwart attempted robbery of historic Rifai Mosque

Antiquities Ministry security personnel early Thursday foiled an attempted robbery of historic Islamic lanterns from inside the Rifai Mosque located near the Citadel in Cairo, said Minister of Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim Ali on Thursday. Ali said the stolen antiques were recovered, although the thieves remained at large.

Rifai Mosque, which was built in 1911, is one of Cairo’s historic mosques. It is characterized by detailed decorations on its exterior walls and huge pillars.

“As security members on patrol in the area inspected the security situation inside the historic mosques they discovered three thieves inside carrying several sacks with historic lanterns after they successfully dismantled and packaged them and attempted to carry them out of Rifai mosque," said Ali in a Thursday statement.

He went on to say that the ministry's security men chased the thieves after they fled and left behind the four sacks they were trying to steal. The lanterns were then returned undamaged to their original locations inside the mosque.

Ali explained that he informed the Tourism and Antiquities Police of the attempted robbery so they could begin their investigations into the incident in order to arrest the burglars and bring them to justice.

Egyptian antiquities authorities said that since the withdrawal of security forces during the 25 January revolution, archaeological sites have been the target of repeated robberies.

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