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France

Two burqa-clad robbers hold up post office near Paris

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-02-10

Two burqa-wearing robbers stole 4,500 euros from a post office in the suburbs of Paris Saturday. The gun toting thieves hid their handguns beneath the Islamic-style full veils. The French government is currently trying to restrict use of the burqa.

AFP  -  Two burqa-wearing bank robbers held up a post office near Paris on Saturday, using a handgun concealed beneath an Islamic-style full veil, court officials said.

Staff let the pair through the security double doors of the banking branch of the postal office, believing them to be veil-wearing Muslim women, before they flipped back their head coverings and pulled out a gun, officials said.

They made off with 4,500 euros (6,150 dollars) seized from the staff and customers of the branch in Athis Mons, just south of Paris, according to the online edition of Le Parisien newspaper.

Police have opened an investigation.

France is seeking to restrict use of the head-to-toe Islamic veil on the grounds it is incompatible with French values, after a parliament report called for a ban in schools, hospitals, government offices and public transport.

The leader of President Nicolas Sarkozy's right-wing party in parliament has already presented a bill to make it illegal for anyone to cover their faces in public on security grounds.

Sarkozy has declared the burqa "not welcome" in secular France and favours legislation to outlaw it, though he has warned against stigmatising Muslims.

According to the interior ministry, only around 1,900 women wear the burqa in France, which is home to Europe's biggest Muslim minority.

Date created : 2010-02-10

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