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Schoolgirls Extinguish Eternal Flame With Snowballs

Four schoolgirls in the Primorye region town of Artyom extinguished the flame on a World War II monument by throwing snowballs at it, local police said Tuesday.

Police told Interfax that hidden surveillance cameras alongside the monument showed the teenagers repeatedly hurling snowballs at it until its flame no longer burned.

Regional news agency PrimaMedia reported that the flame was re-lit by engineers within an hour.

The flames on such monuments are meant to burn constantly to preserve the memory of those who gave their lives to defend the country during World War II. Eternal flames burn in towns and cities across Russia.

It was unclear Tuesday what punishment the teenagers could face for their act of vandalism.

Police are still searching for the culprits.

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