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Five tombstones damaged in historic Jewish cemetery in New York

By Azadeh Ansari and Joe Sutton CNN

(CNN) -- Five tombstones were overturned at a historic cemetery in New York this weekend -- the latest incident targeting a Jewish facility in the US.

The New York Police Department is investigating the incident, which happened at a Jewish cemetery in Brooklyn.

A hate-crime task force is looking into whether the damage to the granite and marble tombstones at Washington Cemetery was intentional.

The latest destruction comes amid a series of bomb threats and vandalism targeting Jewish institutions, including cemeteries, schools and community centers.

Last week, at least a dozen headstones were toppled at a Jewish cemetery at the Waad Hakolel Cemetery in Rochester, New York, following similar incidents in St. Louis and Philadelphia. In late February, at least 170 headstones were damaged at a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will launch a statewide investigation of the vandalism at the Waad Hakolel Cemetery in Rochester, New York, and the overall rise in crimes targeting Jewish organizations throughout the state.

Members of the Muslim community in St. Louis have started a fundraising effort to help pay for the toppled headstones to be repaired.

Since the start of the year, four mosques have gone up in flames, according to the Council of American-Islamic Relations, which documented 139 incidents of "damage/destruction/vandalism" at mosques in 2016 -- the most since record-keeping started in 2009.

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