A woman wearing a burka near Paris
Paris police have arrested 58 people trying to take part in a banned demonstration against President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government’s new law banning the burka and other all-covering clothing.
Police swooped on the protesters near the capital’s Place de la Nation and took them in for identity checks.
Explainer – the background to France’s burka debate
Eighteen women were among those arrested, officials say.
Two people have been ordered to leave French territory following identity checks – one to then United Kingdom, the other to Belgium. One of them was arrested on the motorway between Amiens and Paris.
An application for permission to hold the demonstration was turned down on Friday. Police said that the ban was because they feared violent clashes with counter-demonstrators.