Members of Arabic-language jihadist forums have called for war on France over its ban on niqabs, the full-face coverings worn by ultra-conservative Muslim women, a US-based web service said Wednesday.

The draconian new law, the first to be enforced in Europe, went into effect on Monday. Wearing the niqab or burka, a head-to-toe body covering, is now banned in the street, public gardens, shops and government buildings.

In messages on a number of threads, contributors posted calls to punish France for what was perceived as an anti-Islamic law, including calls for Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb to carry out operations to deter France, the SITE Intelligence Group said.

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