Muslim graves vandalised in Strasbourg

6th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

STRASBOURG, France, Aug 6 (AFP) - The tombstones of 15 Muslim soldiers from north Africa who fought in the two world wars for former colonial power France were defaced with neo-Nazi graffiti overnight in a military cemetery in the eastern city of Strasbourg.

STRASBOURG, France, Aug 6 (AFP) - The tombstones of 15 Muslim soldiers from north Africa who fought in the two world wars for former colonial power France were defaced with neo-Nazi graffiti overnight in a military cemetery in the eastern city of Strasbourg.

Swastikas and SS signs were painted in grey and blue on the graves in the Muslim section of the Cronenbourg cemetery, which contains some 5,500 victims of World War I and II.

On a wall was painted "HVE junior," a reference to the Heimattreue Vereinigung Elsass - Patriotic Association of Alsace - a neo-Nazi group that was banned in 1993.

Alsace and its capital Strasbourg were part of Germany from 1871 to 1918 and again during World War II.

Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin issued a statement condemning the desecration.

"Every means will be put in operation to identify and prosecute those who carried out this exceptionally serious act," it said.

Recent months have seen a series of acts of vandalism against Muslim cemeteries and places of worship.

In one of the worst incidents, the gravestones of some 50 Muslim soldiers were daubed with swastikas at another military cemetery in Alsace.

© AFP

Subject: French news

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