Page last updated at 17:31 GMT, Friday, 2 October 2009 18:31 UK

Muslim graves smashed by vandals

Up to 20 Muslim graves have been targeted and vandalised at a cemetery in south Manchester.

The vandals struck at the Southern Cemetery on Barlow Moor Road overnight on Thursday.

Staff found the Muslim section of the cemetery littered with broken headstones on Friday morning.

Det Con Rob Southern said: "Sadly, we are treating this as a hate crime. This sort of mindless, racist behaviour must be utterly condemned."

Police appealed to anyone who has information to come forward.

'Atrocious acts'

Det Con Southern added: "This is the worst sort of vandalism imaginable.

"The graves of your loved ones should be a place where they can rest peacefully and that is absolutely sacrosanct.

"I'm sure the whole community will be outraged.

"The families of those whose graves have been vandalised will be rightly traumatised and deeply upset.

"If we do catch the people who committed these atrocious acts, then they should be made to see the grief and pain they have caused."

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