Libyan Government Apologizes for Descrated British WWII Graves
Vandalism is a growing issue in Libya's Benghazi.
The Libyan government has been "extremely apologetic" about the desecration of graves, in the eastern city of Benghazi, of more than 150 British servicemen killed in North Africa 70 years ago.
Headstones at the Benghazi War Cemetery were torn down and crucifixes smashed with hammers by a mob of extremists, some carrying guns and dressed in combat fatigues.
Amateur video footage of the attack, posted on social networking site Facebook, showed men casually kicking over headstones in a war cemetery and using sledge hammers to smash a metal and stone cross.
One man can be heard saying: "This is a grave of a Christian", as he uprooted a stone headstone from the ground. Another voice in the footage says of the people buried in the cemetery: "These are dogs."
It is believed the attack could have been carried out by an Islamist group in protest at the burning of the Koran by US soldiers in Afghanistan last month.
More than 1,200 Commonwealth soldiers and airmen are buried in the eastern city of Benghazi. Of the 1,051 identified graves, 851 are British.
Many were members of the 7th Armoured Division, known as the Desert Rats, which played a key role in fighting for control of Libya and Egypt between 1941 and 1943.
The National Transitional Council, Libya's interim leadership since last year's uprising forced out Muammar Gaddafi, said it would pursue those responsible.
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