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Monday, 1 November 2010

49 Jewish gravestones smashed in France

Anti-Semitism raising its head? 

Dozens of gravestones were smashed Friday night in a Jewish cemetery in northeastern France, French weekly Le Journal du Dimanche reported Sunday.

 According to the newspaper, at least 49 gravestones were destroyed. No graffiti was found in the area.

 The newspaper said a passerby walking his dog in the town of Bar-le-Duc, in the Meuse district, had noticed that the gate to the Jewish cemetery was open.

 "The gate to the cemetery, which has 126 graves, is always closed," the report said. "The resident arrived at the police station and filed a report. A police force dispatched to the area found 49 smashed gravestones."

 According to the newspaper, "These are very heavy gravestones, which were moved, fell on the ground and broke due to their heavy weight. A single person could not have defaced the cemetery on his own, so the police are looking for several suspects."

 The police collected evidence throughout the night, the report added, and a senior official in the office of the district's attorney general visited the place and is monitoring the investigation.

 The district's attorney general said the authorities viewedthe incident as extremely severe and had launched an extensive investigation to locate suspects.

Jewish cemeteries have been desecrated in France several times in recent years. The latest incident took place in July, when 27 gravestones were smashed in a Strasbourg cemetery.