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Police investigating as graves of fallen soldiers from both World Wars desecrated

More than a dozen graves of fallen soldiers from the two world wars have been desecrated in Northern Ireland.

One of the headstones in Belfast's City Cemetery was "smashed to bits" while 13 others were also targeted in an orgy of vandalism over the past week, according to investigators.

A Cross of Sacrifice war memorial at the burial grounds at Falls Road in the west of the city has also been extensively covered in graffiti. Expletives and anti-police slogans were daubed on the cross.

Police said they are treating the attacks as criminal damage.

It is believed vandals targeted the graves between last Tuesday, April 15, and today. The damage was restricted to a section of the cemetery for the war dead from both the First World War and the Second World War.

"Police are appealing to anyone who has noticed any suspicious activity in the cemetery over the past week to contact them in Woodbourne on the new non-emergency number 101," said a Police Service spokesman.

"Information can also be passed anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

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