"Simply unacceptable": 12 War graves destroyed by vandals in Belfast over weekend
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"Simply unacceptable": 12 War graves destroyed by vandals in Belfast over weekend

HEADSTONES MARKING the graves of Commonwealth soldiers who died in battle including in World Wars One and Two have been desecrated in Belfast.

Three graves were destroyed on Friday last, followed by another nine graves which were attacked on Monday, according to the Belfast Telegraph.

Chief Inspector of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Christian Bradley said of the desecration:

"To damage any grave is appalling and I can assure the public that we will conduct a thorough investigation in a bid to bring those responsible before the courts, but we need the community to help us."

"I would appeal to anyone with any information that could assist with our investigation to contact police in Woodbourne on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 592 07/10/19."

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It is not the first time the war cemetery has been targeted-- repeat anti-social behaviour  and destruction of graves has been an issue in the area for several years.

Paul Maskey, a Sinn Fein MP for West Belfast, spoke to The Belfast Telegraph about his disgust at how the graves were targeted.

He said:

"This is simply unacceptable and it's totally uncalled for that a graveyard has been attacked yet again,"

"The people who are buried there, regardless of their background, have the right to rest in peace and obviously many will still have family and friends who come to visit their graves.

"Those responsible for these attacks need to be ashamed of themselves.

"It's just mind-blowing how anybody thinks it's a good idea to damage a grave."

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Mr Maskey confirmed he was in talks with Belfast City Council about setting up extra security in the graveyard in order to prevent a repeat attack.