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The burkini covers the entire body apart from the hands, feet, and face. Cannes Mayor David Lisnard said swimwear should respect good customs and secularism MARWAN NAAMANI/AFP/Getty

The Mayor of Cannes has banned burkinis from the beaches of the French Riviera resort famed for its annual film festival. Under the ruling approved by Mayor David Lisnard, "access to beaches and for swimming is banned to anyone who does not have [bathing apparel] which respects good customs and secularism," which is a founding principle of the French republic.

"Beachwear which ostentatiously displays religious affiliation, when France and places of worship are currently the target of terrorist attacks, is liable to create risks of disrupting public order (crowds, scuffles etc) which it is necessary to prevent," it says.

Burkinis are swimwear which cover the entire body apart from the hands, feet and face.

Thierry Migoule, head of municipal services for the town, told AFP the rule was not about "banning the wearing of religious symbols on the beach ... but ostentatious clothing which refers to an allegiance to terrorist movements which are at war with us."

It comes following a series of terror attacks in France claimed by jihadist group Islamic State.

On 14 July, Tunisian Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel drove a truck into a crowd watching a Bastille Day fireworks display in nearby Nice, killing 85 people.

It was followed by an attack on a church in Normandy by two Islamic extremists, who took a group of parishioners hostage and slit the throat of an 85-year-old priest.

The issue of female Islamic dress has long been controversial in France, which became the first country in Europe to ban wearing veils including burqas and niqabs in public in 2010.

Recently, an event at a swimming pool in Marseille in which women were invited to wear burkinis was cancelled after the organisers received death threats.