Monday, August 15, 2016

Mayor on Corsica bans burqinis after clashes

BASTIA (FRANCE) (AFP) - A mayor on the French island of Corsica on Monday became the third nationwide to announce a ban on burqinis, after the full-body Islamic swimsuit allegedly sparked violent clashes.

The Riviera resorts of Cannes and Villeneuve-Loubet have also banned the garment from their beaches in recent weeks, at a highly sensitive time for relations with France's Muslim community following a series of jihadist attacks.

The new ban in the Corsican village of Sisco comes after a massive brawl on Saturday between locals and families of North African origin.

It is not entirely clear how the fight broke out, but one witness said it happened after tourists took pictures of women swimming in burqinis on the Mediterranean island.

Five people were injured and three cars were burned as the rival sides hurled stones and bottles. A hundred police officers were mobilised to break up the fight.

Prosecutors in nearby Bastia said an inquiry had been opened to determine how the clashes broke out.

Sisco mayor Pierre-Ange Vivoni said burqinis would be banned in the area from Tuesday.