Dozens of graves defaced in northern France: government

Dozens of graves defaced in northern France: government
An old Jewish graveyard in Waldwisse, France.

PARIS - Dozens of graves have been defaced in a cemetery in northern France, the interior minister said Tuesday, just days after the vandalism of hundreds of Jewish tombs sparked outrage across the country.

"Several dozen crucifixes were moved, some of them turned over and planted in the ground," Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said in a statement, expressing his "indignation".

The vandalism in the small coastal village of Tracy-sur-Mer on the coast of Normandy comes just days after some 250 tombs were defaced in a Jewish cemetery in the northeast of the country.

The damage caused a wave of indignation in France, which is still reeling from bloody attacks by Islamist gunmen in Paris last month and after anti-Semitic attacks in Copenhagen over the weekend.

"To profane is to insult all religions and defile the Republic," French President Francois Hollande said Tuesday during a ceremony at the Jewish cemetery in the eastern Alsace region.

Cazeneuve said police would begin investigations to identify the culprits of the latest vandalism on Wednesday morning.

"Everything will be done to identify, challenge and bring to justice the perpetrators of these outrageous acts that violate our values and the respect that seals our living together," he said.

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