Excerpt:

Interior Minister Manuel Valls defended on Monday France's ban on wearing full-face veils in public places after a police check on a veiled Muslim woman sparked riots in a Paris suburb at the weekend.

The 2010 law was brought in by conservative former president Nicolas Sarkozy and targets burqa and niqab garments that conceal the face rather than the headscarf that is more common among French Muslim women.

A police check on a couple in the southwest suburb of Trappes sparked an angry confrontation that led overnight on Friday to a police station being surrounded by several hundred people, some hurling rocks. Another building was torched in several hours of street violence that led to six arrests.


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