The central African country of Chad has banned full Islamic face veils, known as burqas, following suicide bombings in the country’s capital earlier this week. The country’s population is mainly Muslim.
The government of Chad has blamed Islamic group Boko Haram for the bombings, which killed 34 people, the BBC and Reuters have reported. The Prime Minister Kalzeube Pahimi Deubet said that the veil had been used as “camouflage” by the militants, and has ordered security forces to burn all face-veils sold in markets, saying “Even the burqas for sale in the markets will be withdrawn.”
He has also imposed a countrywide ban on the clothing, including head to toe garments as well as on religious turbans, stipulating that the ban is in force everywhere, not just in public places. In a meeting with religious leaders, he added that any clothing which covers everything but the eyes is to be considered camouflage.
The bombings, which took place outside a police headquarters and a police academy in N’Djamena are the first such attacks on Chadian soil. Authorities have blamed Boko Haram for the attacks, which they believe took place in retaliation for Chad playing a leading role a multi-state taskforce against the group. Also involved are Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Benin, as well as a 3,000 strong mission from France.