Monument to Argentine Soldiers Defaced in Falklands

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A monument to Argentine soldiers killed in the 1982 Falklands War with Britain, has been desecrated, the soldiers' relatives said.

There are 234 graves of Argentine soldiers in the Falklands, where 649 Argentine soldiers and 255 British died in 1982

A monument to Argentine soldiers killed in the 1982 Falklands War with Britain, has been desecrated, the soldiers' relatives said.

The monument, located at the Argentine Military Cemetery in Darwin, in the disputed British-held territory, "fell victim to an act of vandalism by unknown perpetrators," said a statement on the website of The Commission of Relatives of the Fallen in the Malvinas, as Argentina calls the islands it claims.

The vandalism was discovered by an Argentine national living in the islands who maintains the monument, Sebastian Socodo.

Local police were alerted to the vandalism, and the commission demanded that Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman and British Ambassador to Buenos Aires John Freeman conduct a thorough investigation.

Argentina's foreign ministry released a statement to the United Nations and International Red Cross, demanding an "immediate clarification of the events."

The ministry also demanded that Britain observe United Nations regulations "and end its continuous display of arms, submarines and nuclear capabilities in the South Atlantic, in violation of international treaties."

There are 234 graves of Argentine soldiers in the South Atlantic islands, where 649 Argentine soldiers and 255 British died in the 74-day conflict in 1982.

Tensions over the islands, claimed by Argentina since 1833, have heated up over the past year, the 30th anniversary of the conflict, intensified in part by British moves to open waters around the Falklands to oil exploration.