France's highest administrative court has suspended a ban on full-body "burkini" swimsuits that was imposed in the town of Villeneuve-Loubet.

It said the ban "seriously and clearly illegally breached fundamental freedoms to come and go, freedom of beliefs and individual freedom".

The ruling could set a precedent for up to 30 other towns that have imposed the ban.

The court will make a final decision on the legality of the bans later.

A lawyer outside court said that people who had been fined could claim their money back.

A human rights group and an anti-Islamophobia organisation brought the ban in Villeneuve-Loubet to the court's attention.

The so-called burkini ban has ignited fierce debate in France and worldwide.

Opinions polls suggested most French people backed the bans, which town mayors said were protecting public order and secularism.

Muslims said they were being targeted unfairly.