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Updated: March 4, 2011 14:41 IST

Top Egyptian archaeologist says he's leaving Cabinet

AP
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Archaeologist Zahi Hawass. File photo: AP.
Archaeologist Zahi Hawass. File photo: AP.

Mr. Hawass said he was no longer able to carry out his duties amid what he called a campaign against him by officials at his ministry and warned that Egypt’s antiquities were in "grave danger" from criminals.

Egypt’s top archaeologist says he will no longer serve as a Cabinet minister and is warning that the country’s antiquity sites are being looted by criminals.

Mr. Zahi Hawass was quoted in the Friday editions of Cairo’s dailies as saying he would not participate in the new government to be led by prime minister designate Essam Sharaf. Mr. Hawass has been a Cabinet minister since January 31 when ousted President Hosni Mubarak named a new government led by longtime friend Ahmed Shafiq.

Mr. Shafiq resigned on Thursday.

Mr. Hawass said he was no longer able to carry out his duties amid what he called a campaign against him by officials at his ministry and warned that Egypt’s antiquities were in “grave danger” from criminals.

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