Suspected Islamic extremists have vandalised the main Commonwealth War Cemetery in Benghazi, Libya's second city, for the second time in four months.A number of headstones were desecrated in the attacked, believed to have been carried out on Thursday. Authorities in Benghazi said they were trying to track down those responsible.
"We are co-operating with the security committee to ascertain the identity of the assailants and bring them to justice as quickly as possible," Khaled al-Jazawi, the spokesman for the city's civilian council, said
Libya's transitional government apologised for the February incident and promised to arrest those responsible. No detentions have been reported, however, and many of Libya's militias remain too powerful to be challenged by the central government.
Islamist groups in Benghazi have mounted a series of attacks on Western targets in recent weeks, raising fears of their mounting influence in the city from where the rebellion that toppled Col Muammar Gaddafi last year first began. Militants fired rocket-propelled grenades at a convoy carrying Britain's ambassador to Libya, Sir Dominic Asquith, into the city, wounding two of his guards.
(Reuters) - A group of armed gunmen stormed the Tunisian consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi on Monday to protest against an art exhibition in Tunisia which they said insulted Islam, a security guard who works inside the building said. Kamal al-Gehani said the group of about 20 young men carrying Kalashnikovs forced their way into the building and burned the Tunisian flag inside.
Suleiman al-Gehani, an official with the foreign ministry who was called to help defuse the situation, said security officers had to negotiate with the group until they were convinced to leave. He said no shots were fired and no one was injured.
"We had to convince them this wasn't the civilised way to protest. They were very angry over the art work from Tunisia," he said. Thousands of hard-line Muslim Salafis rioted in Tunis this week to protest against the art exhibition which features a work that spells out the name of God using insects.
The fragile transitional government is still struggling to restore stability after the revolt and arms and explosives looted from former leader Muammar Gaddafi's arsenals are easily available.
More than 8,000 allied dead from Montgomery's Western Desert Campaign during the Second World War are buried in Libya, and could prove tempting targets for other Islamists.