Police: treasure hunters attack Greek monastery

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Police have arrested three armed men who allegedly broke into a Greek monastery, tied up monks and planned to search for treasure with a mechanical digger.

They were caught Sunday when a friar who avoided capture phoned police before the digging could start at the Orthodox Monastery of St. George near Aliartos, northwest of Athens. It was rebuilt in modern times on medieval ruins.

The four monks who were captured along with the mother of one of them were not hurt.

Police said four other suspects in the attack are being sought, and quoted the captured suspects as saying they had planned to search for buried coins, not religious artifacts.

Illegal treasure hunting has become increasingly popular during Greece’s economic crisis.

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