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DEMOCRACY

SVT reporter: I could have been killed

Bert Sundström, the Sveriges Television (SVT) reporter who was stabbed, beaten and dumped in a Cairo hospital, talked yesterday evening for the first time of his harrowing ordeal.

SVT reporter: I could have been killed

Sundström was beaten by a mob while covering the unrest in the Egyptian capital and said that he felt lucky to be alive.

“The fundamental thing is that I am alive. I was very brutally beaten and stabbed, so a little bad luck, I would have been dead. So my underlying feeling is that I am grateful to be alive.”

Bert Sundstrom said on Monday night in an interview with SVT colleagues for the first time since the attack last Thursday.

The reported remains in the care of a Cairo hospital pending his return to Sweden.

There has been speculation that Sundström was attacked by the Egyptian security forces. He was unable to shed light on that on Monday.

“It was a mob which attacked me. One or two people started it and then there were a large number.

“Then, as I understand it, left at the hospital by a group of army soldiers.”

According to Bert Sundstrom, the doctors have said that his prospects of making a full recovering are are good.

“I hope that within a few days I will be able to be transported to Sweden, because it’s obviously quite difficult to be here where everyone speaks Arabic and only a few speak a little English.”

Sundström on Monday received his first visit from SVT colleagues – photographer Richard Edholm and foreign reporter Eve Elmsäter – for which he said he was very grateful.

As soon as his condition permits, Bert Sundstrom will be flown home to Sweden.

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BURIAL

Swedish archeologist finds ancient mass grave in Egypt

A Swedish archeologist has discovered a 3,000-year-old mass grave at the Gebel el-Silsila site in southern Egypt.

Swedish archeologist finds ancient mass grave in Egypt
John Ward and the team with one of the sarcophogi. Photo: Gebel El Silsila Project
Maria Nilsson, Researcher in Classical Archeology at Lund University, told Sweden’s TT newswire that although her group had so far dug through less than half of the grave site, they had already found a large number of human remains. 
 
“It’s just skeleton after skeleton after skeleton,” she said. “We haven’t yet finished the first chamber, but we have so far taken up 50 adults and 25 children.” 
 
Nilsson and her British husband John Ward, who is the project’s Assistant Director, announced the discovery in a video after it was announced by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquity on Thursday. 
 

 
The group discovered the shaft last year, but only realised its full significance when they started digging this October. The shaft was found five metres under ground and leads to two chambers, each filled with water, sand and sludge. 
 
View to the south-east of chamber 1. Photo: Gebel el Silsila Project
 
The grave is thought to date from Egypt’s 18th dynasty, making it around 3,400 years old. As well as bodies, the archeologists have found burial goods, such as scarabs, amulets, and different types of pots, coming from three generations of pharoahs: Thutmosis II, III och Amenhotep II.
 
Writing in her blog, Nilsson, said that no similar mass grave had been found as part of the dig. 
 
“No other tomb documented at Gebel el-Silsila previously has contained such a high number of entombed individuals,” she wrote.
 
“One of the more important results of the discovery at Gebel el-Silsila is the amount of buried children and women, indicating that there was a complete society with entire families living and working in ancient Kheny.”
 
 
Men-Kheper-Re scarab. Photo: Anders Andersson
 
“What we can see from the burial goods and the actual architecture of the tomb is that they belonged to the upper middle-class,” Nilsson said. “For various reasons, we believe that they were involved in quarry work.” 
 
The archeologists have several theories for why so many bodies were collected in the same place. 
 
Perhaps it was a kind of temporary morgue where Egypt’s priests kept bodies while waiting for grave sites to become available. Perhaps there had been an epidemic.   
 
In February Maria Nilsson and John Ward are returning to Sweden, and will be returning to the burial place next autumn. 
 
View from the shaft into chamber.  Photo: Anders Andersson
 
 
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