17 Jun 2012

More war graves damaged in Benghazi

10:47 am on 17 June 2012

New Zealand Culture and Heritage Minister Chris Finlayson says he is disgusted at the latest desecration of World War II graves at a Commonwealth cemetery in Libya. It was the second such incident in four months.

Armed men smashed headstones at the cemetery in Benghazi in March and more graves were desecrated on Thursday.

Mr Finlayson's office hopes to know on Monday whether any New Zealand graves were damaged in the latest incident.

Eleven New Zealand graves were among the 238 desecrated in March and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission said at the time that all would need to be replaced.

The servicemen were killed during the North African campaign in World War II.

Benghazi Council spokesman Khaled Al-Jazwi said it is not yet known who damaged the graves in the latest incident and a security committee has been asked to investigate.