Friday, 12 April 2013

Cemetery desecration signals power of Libyan Islamists

 With his 9-millimetre pistol tucked in his belt, bleary-eyed volunteer guard Naser al-Werfali is the last line of defence for the windswept graves of the “Desert Rats” who defeated the Nazis in North Africa.

More than 150 graves, including that of a Canadian war hero, were smashed or desecrated last year by a mob of Islamist extremists who invaded the Commonwealth war cemetery in Benghazi. Months later, the cemetery was attacked again, wreaking further destruction to the graves and memorial crosses.

Now the lone guard is asking for help. “As long as I’m alive, I’ll protect this place,” he told an early morning visitor in February, as he rubbed the sleep from his eyes. “I keep asking for more support and security, and nobody helps. I’m risking my life, and nobody cares.”


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