British war cemetery in France desecrated

2nd August 2005, Comments 0 comments

LILLE, France, Aug 2 (AFP) - A cemetery in northern France holding the remains of British soldiers killed in World War I has been desecrated, with 42 headstones broken and one scorched by a Molotov cocktail, French police said Tuesday.

LILLE, France, Aug 2 (AFP) - A cemetery in northern France holding the remains of British soldiers killed in World War I has been desecrated, with 42 headstones broken and one scorched by a Molotov cocktail, French police said Tuesday.

The vandalism occurred late last week in the Albuera cemetery in Bailleul-Sir-Berthoult, near Lille. The graveyard's visitors' book was also torched, police said. No inscriptions were found.

"Two or three broken headstones, that unfortunately happens sometimes. But 42 -- that's never occurred. Everybody is shocked," said a spokesman for Britain's Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Christopher Farrell.

France's war veterans minister, Hamlaoui Mekachera, issued a statement expressing his "outrage" at the "barbarous and shocking" acts and called for an investigation to find those responsible.

The military cemetery, which contains 252 tombs, is one of 1,500 in France, where more than 400,000 soldiers from Britain and its former colonies are buried.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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