Hundreds of Jewish Graves Vandalized in Eastern France

Interior minister says authorities will do everything to catch vandals who desecrated hundreds of graves.

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Archive photot: Gravestones desecrated with swastika, seen at the British World War I cemetery in Loos-en-Gohelle, northern France, Friday June 11, 2010.Credit: AP

Hundreds of graves have been vandalized at a Jewish cemetery in eastern France, in what the interior minister called an "odious act" against religious freedom and tolerance.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said in a statement Sunday that a special criminal investigation team is at the cemetery in Sarre-Union, near the German border, and authorities will do "everything" to pursue the vandals.

Jewish and Muslim gravesites and places of worship see sporadic but frequent vandalism in France. The latest incident comes amid religious tensions in Europe after Islamic radicals attacked a kosher market and a newspaper in Paris last month, and similar attacks in Denmark this weekend.

Cazeneuve urged calm and tolerance. Many French Jews feel increasingly worried about anti-Semitism.

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