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Police seek two after theft of Umm Haram tomb cover

The Hala Sultan

Police issued an arrest warrant for a foreign national believed to be involved in the theft on Wednesday of a cloth that covered the tomb of Umm Haram, at the Hala Sultan mosque in Larnaca.

According to the police, the mosque’s imam reported that the cloth – worth around €400 – was stolen on Wednesday while the religious site was open to visitors.

The cloth is not of an archaeological value, police said.

Footage from surveillance cameras showed two persons arriving at the site in a rental car.

One of them, police said, is seen entering the mosque complex and shortly after he is seen coming back holding the cloth.

The tomb of Umm Haram, is located behind the mosque wall and is accessible through the mosque.

Police said they issued an arrest warrant for one of the two suspects, a Turkish man, holder of a British passport, who is believed to have arrived in Cyprus on Tuesday through Larnaca airport.

Police got his name from the car rental company.

The man crossed to the breakaway north in the rental car on Wednesday, after the theft, police said.

Authorities were also trying to identify the other man.

This is not the first time the cloth was stolen, police said.

Umm Haram is the wet nurse of Prophet Mohammed, who fell off her horse and died at the spot where she was later buried during the first Arab raids of Cyprus between 647AD and 649AD.

A mosque complex was gradually built around her tomb in 1787, during the Ottoman rule, and took its final form in 1816.

Hala Sultan mosque is considered to be one of the holiest places for Muslims.

 

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