Amateur footage, posted on social networking sites showed armed men smashing the graves of British and Italian soldiers killed in World War Two.
Libya’s leadership apologised and said it was deeply embarrassed by the vandalism, which has been blamed on radical Islamists.
The attack happened in the eastern city of Benghazi where British and Commonwealth troops fought German and Italian soldiers during the war.
Imad Mohammed, a Benghazi resident said:
“It’s forbidden in Islam to attack graves, it’s as bad as attacking someone who’s still alive. They are dead people, what blame do they have?”
The British Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne had this to say: “It’s not the case that the Libyan people as a whole endorse what has happened, this terrible behaviour, that is not the case and we are working very closely with the Libyan authorities who want to correct what has happened, who want to put this wrong right, because they are embarrassed by the behaviour of the people who desecrated those cemeteries.”
Libya’s interim leadership has insisted the actions of the gang do not reflect Libyan public opinion. No group is yet to come forward to claim responsibility.