A desecrated grave at the Saint-Etienne-a-Arnes cemetery.
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German WWI graves smashed in France on peace anniversary

8 July 2012 Last updated at 20:20 BST

The graves of 40 German soldiers who died during World War I have been vandalised at a military cemetery in northern France, officials say.

Wooden crosses were pulled up from the Saint-Etienne-a-Arnes cemetery and some were later used for a camp fire.

French President Francois Hollande condemned the act, saying nothing would change French friendship with Germany.

He was meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel to mark the 50th anniversary of the formal post-war reconciliation.

Steve Evans reports.