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Archaeologist's antiquities warning

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.

Zahi Hawass has been quoted in Cairo's dailies as saying he would not participate in the new government to be led by prime minister designate Essam Sharaf.

Hawass has been a Cabinet minister since January 31 when ousted President Hosni Mubarak named a new government led by long-time friend Ahmed Shafiq.

Shafiq resigned on Thursday.

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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