Iranian police arrest gang of illegal excavators

May 24, 2021 - 12:0

TEHRAN - Iranian police have recently busted a gang of illegal diggers in Bostan-Abad, northwestern East Azarbaijan province, a senior police official in charge of protecting cultural heritage has announced. 

Four unauthorized excavators were detained in this regard and surrendered to the judicial system for further investigation, Kazem Dadashi said, CHTN reported on Sunday.

Some digging tools were seized from the gang, who were traced following reports by local people and cultural heritage supporters, the official added.

East Azarbaijan embraces several historical and religious sites, including Jameh Mosque of Tabriz and Arg of Tabriz, and UNESCO-registered Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex to name a few. Its capital city, Tabriz, was chosen as the seat of power by the Mongol Il-Khan Mahmud Gazan (1295–1304) and his successor. Timur (Tamerlane), a Turkic conqueror, took it in 1392. Some decades later the Kara Koyunlu Turkmen made it their capital, it was when the famous Blue Mosque was built in Tabriz.

Tabriz retained its administrative status under the Safavid dynasty until 1548 when Shah Tahmasp I relocated his capital westward to Qazvin. During the next two centuries, Tabriz changed hands several times between Persia and the Ottoman Empire. During World War I, the city was temporarily occupied by Turkish and then Soviet troops.


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