A WAR memorial in Edinburgh has been torched by vandals in a move described as “utterly beyond comprehension”.

Wreaths laid at the memorial site, in the heart of the capital, on Sunday were set ablaze and police are treating the incident as an act of vandalism.  

It comes less than a day after the First Minister, Edinburgh Lord Provost Robert Aldridge and others laid wreaths at the spot on Remembrance Sunday. 

Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: "Utterly beyond comprehension that someone would vandalise a war memorial on Remembrance Day - sickening and disgraceful.

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"I hope those responsible are identified and brought to justice."

Aldridge said: "Yesterday it was my honour to lay a wreath on behalf of the City of Edinburgh to remember those who served and sacrificed so much.

"The vandalism discovered this morning not only to the recently laid wreaths but also Edinburgh's Stone of Remembrance is disgusting and disrespectful.

"We remain at a loss for the reasons someone could do something like this which has caused a lot of upset for everyone who respects the memories of all who serve their country.

"We have reported this to the police and would urge anyone who knows anything about what happened to contact them."

Police Scotland have said officers are investigating the damage and checking nearby CCTV cameras. 

Chief Inspector Murray Tait, local area commander said: “Our enquiries are ongoing after poppy wreaths were set on fire at the war memorial in High Street, Edinburgh around 5am on Monday, November 14.

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“Officers are carrying out enquiries and gathering CCTV footage to find out more information on whoever is responsible.

“I utterly condemn this appalling act of vandalism, especially at this time of year when remembrance services have just been held across the country.

“If anyone has any information that will assist our investigation, please contact officers through 101 with reference number 601 of November 14.”