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France Arrests Muslim Woman On First Day of Burqa Ban

Still, one officer admits: "The law will be very difficult to apply on certain estates."

PARIS (The Blaze/AP) — Paris police have detained a woman wearing an Islamic veil at a protest on the first day of France's ban on the face coverings.

The ban makes France the first country in the world to forbid the veils anywhere in public.

About a dozen people, including three women wearing veils, staged a protest in front of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Monday, and one woman was taken away in a van.

A police officer on the site says the woman was detained because the protest was not authorized and the protesters refused to disperse.

The London Telegraph, however, says two women were arrested.

It is unclear whether they were fined. The law says veiled women risk a euro150 ($215) fine or special citizenship classes.

But despite the arrests, the Telegraph says police are fearful of enforcing the ban:

Police admitted they were enforcing the ban extremely cautiously because of fears of provoking violence.

"The law will be very difficult to apply on certain estates," said Patrice Ribeiro, of the Synergie police union.

"I can't see police going to book dozens of veiled women doing their shopping in Venissieux or in Trappes," Mr Ribeiro said, referring to two Paris suburbs where riots regularly break out because of alleged discrimination against Muslims."

"It will be the same when a police officer is about to arrest a veiled Saudi who is about to go into Louis Vuitton on the Champs Elysees."

Mohamed Douhane, another Paris police officer and Synergie member, said he and his colleagues also "expected provocation by a minority.' Mr Douhane added: "Fundamentalist movements are eager to raise the stakes. The police know they will be held responsible for any public order disturbances."

Police have already been warned not to arrest women "in or around" mosques, and "citizen's de-veilings" are also banned.

The strict instructions, from Interior Minister Claude Guent, are contained in a nine page circular issued to officers.

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