'Up to 6,600 graves mislabelled' at Arlington Cemetery

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As many as 6,600 graves at the main US military cemetery were mislabelled or unmarked because of incompetence among cemetery managers, a US senator says.

Senator Claire McCaskill was speaking at a US congressional hearing into contracting problems at Arlington National Cemetery.

US investigators have put the problems down to a poor working relationship between two top administrators.

John Metzler and Thurman Higginbotham have both been called to testify.

In testimony, Mr Metzler, who ran the cemetery for 19 years, complained that US budget officials slashed his staffing levels, forcing him to rely on contract employees.

But he expressed his "sincere regrets to the families" affected by the mislabelling and said he accepted "full responsibility" for the mix-up of graves.

'Not complicated'

Ms McCaskill has accused Mr Metzler of not reporting problems with burials such as unmarked graves, and said he should have brought resource problems to Congress or up his chain of command....

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