A Muslim woman wears a burkini, a swimsuit that leaves only the face, hands and feet exposed, as she swims in the Mediterranean Sea in Marseille, France, August 17, 2016.

About 30 French mayors have been urged to follow a court ruling which overturned a controversial burkini ban in a resort town.

France’s top administrative court suspended the ban in Villeneuve-Loubet on Friday on civil liberties grounds.

However, a number of mayors have said they will continue applying the bathing suit ban.

The human rights lawyer who brought Friday’s case has said he will take each town to court.

The ruling by the Council of State found that the ban in Villeneuve-Loubet “seriously and clearly illegally breached fundamental freedoms”.

Town hall authorities in Nice and Frejus, as well as in the Corsican village of Sisco, have vowed to keep the bans in place.

Responding to the ruling, Villeneuve-Loubet’s Mayor, Lionnel Luca, said: “We need to decide if we want a smiley, friendly version of sharia law on our beaches or if we want the rules of the [French] Republic to be implemented.”

French PM Manual Valls wrote on Facebook in support of the bans, saying burkinis were “the affirmation of political Islam in the public space”.

A lawyer for the Council of State, Francois Molinie, told Le Monde newspaper that mayors of towns still imposing the ban could continue in the short term.

However, he said that they might then face legal action in administrative tribunals which would base their rulings on that of the higher court.

Burkinis were not mentioned by name in the bans, with the order simply saying beachwear must be respectful of good public manners and the principle of secularism.

Authorities had said that they were concerned about the public order implications of the religious clothing, especially after attacks in Nice and Paris carried out by people influenced by Islamist extremism.

But while opinion polls suggested most French people backed the bans, they ignited fierce debate in France and around the world, with Muslims saying they were being unfairly targeted.

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