148 Muslim graves vandalised in French WW1 cemetery

Vandals have desecrated 148 graves in the Muslim section of a military cemetery near Arras in northern France, officials said on Sunday.

148 Muslim graves vandalised in French WW1 cemetery

Prime Minister Francois Fillon called the attack a "revolting act" and said those responsible would be found.

The desecration came almost exactly a year after youths daubed Nazi inscriptions and swastikas on Muslim tombs in the same Notre-Dame de Lorette cemetery in Ablain Saint-Nazaire.

Officials in northern France confirmed that numerous graves had been sprayed with paint in the new attack, but did not give any further information.
Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie said in a statement everything would be done to find and punish the vandals.

Police arrested two men over the 2007 attack and sentenced them each to a year in prison.

Notre-Dame de Lorette is one of France's biggest World War One military cemeteries and was built on the site of a battlefield where many French and German soldiers died between October 1914 and October 1915.

During World War One, France mobilised about 600,000 colonial subjects, including many Muslims from Algeria and Tunisia, of whom 78,000 were killed. Some 1.2 million French soldiers were killed in all during the war.

Last Mod: 06 Nisan 2008, 19:17
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