Arrests over Muslim grave attacks

Four youths arrested in France believed to belong to neo-Nazis group.

    A Muslim leader, flanked by people from other religions, lays a wreath in the Arras cemetery [AFP]
    'Profound outrage'
     
    Describing Saturday's incident, Jean-Pierre Valensi, a state prosecutor, said: "The slogans directly target Islam and they gravely insult Rachida Dati, the justice minister [a daughter of North African immigrants]".
     
    Inaugurated in 1925, the cemetery houses the remains of about 40,000 soldiers, half of them in named graves.
     
    Saturday's attack targeted the Muslim quarter which includes 576 tombs that are grouped together and face Mecca.
     
    Jean-Marie Bockel, the secretary of state for veteran's affairs, said the government will review security at Notre Dame de Lorette.
     
    Around 100 French gendarmes have gathered evidence from the cemetery following the attack.
     
    Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, expressed "profound outrage" at the "sordid" attack and vowed that those responsible would be punished.
     
    David Bardiaux, the curator of the cemetery's museum, said: "It is inadmissible, unbelievable. The cemetery is not locked, so it doesn't take courage to come and do this."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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