Anger at Somali Face Veil Burning

May 9, 2007

Source: BBC News

Two hand grenades have gone off in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, where government soldiers were confiscating and burning face veils worn by women.

A BBC correspondent says one woman was injured in the explosions at a junction near the city's main Bakara market.

Eyewitnesses say soldiers were ordering women in burkas to remove their face veils on Tuesday, but the operation was later stopped by their superiors.

Wearing of face veils was encouraged by the Islamists ousted last December.

Correspondents say traditionally Somali women tend to just cover their heads, but in recent years burkas - which cover the entire face and body - and niqabs - a veil for the face that leaves the area around the eyes clear - have become more popular.