POLICE investigating racist graffiti on Muslim graves in Newport are pursuing a number of leads and the officer in charge of the case is positive the culprits will be caught.

Members of Newport's Muslim community joined police officers and councillors at Christchurch Cemetery yesterday.

Vandals used white paint to write "Lee Rigby murder," "white power" and drew swastikas on four gravestones at the weekend.

Initials of the British National Party (BNP), the UK Independence Party (UKIP) and the National Front (NF) were also smeared, as well as racist slogans.

Sgt Scott Askew, who is leading the investigation, was positive those responsible would be caught.

He said: "We have got a few leads, one which I am particularly excited about. These are sensitive lines of inquiry that are being carried out at the moment. I'd like to remind the public that this is an isolated incident.

"I can't recall seeing anything like this happen in Newport before."

Forensic teams were at the scene on Sunday to gather further information and paint comparison tests are being carried out.

Victoria councillor Majid Rahman said: "I think my reaction was the same as everybody else - I was disgusted and appalled.

"But come Monday, I was given a sense of hope by the people of Newport who came together and condemned the attack.

"The people who did this should apologise to the families affected or at least pay back to the community in another way."

Beechwood councillor Deb Davies said: "This is mindless. Those responsible need to understand the damage they've caused and apologise to the families."

Sheikh Mohammod Tahir Ullah, who lives in Maindee, added: "Regardless of what religion you are, these people have lost their lives. No-one deserves this."

Mubarak Ali, secretary of the Islamic Society for Wales, has relatives buried in the Muslim area of the cemetery.

Mr Ali said: "I just hope now that the police will catch the culprits and they will be dealt with accordingly."

Most of the paint has since been cleaned up by Newport council's graffiti team.

Anyone with information is asked to call Gwent Police on 101.