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Nice joins wave of French towns banning burkinis

Associated Press

Paris — The city of Nice, still shaken by last month’s deadly extremist attack, has joined a growing number of French resort towns to ban the body-covering burkini swimsuit.

Political leaders argue that the swimwear, resembling a full-body wetsuit with a hood, oppresses women and violates France’s secular principles. But many see the bans as discriminatory.

Nice was devastated when a man drove a truck into crowds watching fireworks on July 14, killing 86 people in violence claimed by the Islamic State group. The death of the 86th victim, a man hospitalized with injuries, was announced on Friday, more than a month after the attack.

About a third of the victims were from Nice’s large Muslim community, which is both in mourning and fearing a backlash.

The Nice administration issued an order Thursday banning swimwear with religious connotations, citing security concerns.

Several other cities on France’s Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts have banned burkinis this summer.