Page last updated at 10:08 GMT, Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Muslim graves hit for third time

Vandals have targeted Muslim graves at a south Manchester cemetery for the third time in two months.

More than 20 headstones at the Southern Cemetery on Barlow Moor Road were pushed over in what police are treating as a racially-motivated attack.

The offenders struck sometime between Friday afternoon and Monday morning, a police spokesman confirmed.

Det Ch Insp Steve Eckersley called it "mindless racist behaviour" that was being treated as a hate crime.

On 29 September, 26 Muslim headstones were vandalised and three days later 27 were targeted.

This sort of mindless, racist behaviour must be utterly condemned and I'm sure the whole community will be outraged
Det Ch Insp Eckersley, Greater Manchester Police

Police have now increased their patrols in the area.

Det Ch Insp Eckersley added: "It is an absolute disgrace that whoever is responsible thinks it acceptable to repeatedly target the graves of loved ones.

"The repeated nature of these attacks and the fact the offenders are only targeting Muslim graves means we are treating this as a hate crime.

"This sort of mindless, racist behaviour must be utterly condemned and I'm sure the whole community will be outraged.

"To those who know who is responsible or have been told who is responsible I would like to ask how you would feel if someone damaged a grave of one of your loved ones and how hurt or upset that would make you.

"Please do the right thing, tell us what you know and help us put a stop to this."



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