Imam Hamaounde Abba of Mora in the Far North Region protested the ban, saying for those who wear the veil it’s not a choice.

There has been a recent spate of Boko Haram attacks in Niger s southeast Diffa region following weeks of relative calm.

In Nigeria, Boko Haram militants have increasingly been using female suicide bombers as they are often able to smuggle bombs into public places without detection.

Boko Haram has fought a six-year-old insurgency to carve out an Islamist state in northeast Nigeria and are carrying out cross-border attacks despite a military campaign involving Nigeria’s neighbours – Niger, Cameroon and Chad. As part of the ban, it was also decided [AP report] by government officials that Muslims are not permitted to meet in large groups without permission.

“We are also systematically checking all vehicles, and controlling all luggage and the population should collaborate because there is a serious security threat to our nation”, Governor Midjiyawa Bakari is quoted as saying.

The full-face veil remains legal in Cameroon’s nine other, mostly Christian, provinces for now.

The mainly Christian country said it was prompted to do so because of the attacks in Cameroon.

Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is forbidden”, has claimed responsibility for a number of deadly shooting attacks and bombings in Nigeria since the beginning of their militancy in 2009, which has so far claimed the lives of more than 13,000 people.