Two burqa-wearing bank robbers have held up a post office near Paris, 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 on Saturday, 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 ($A7,112) 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.