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Switzerland has come in for criticism from a senior United Nations body over a ban on the construction of minarets approved in a nationwide vote in November.

The Geneva-based Human Rights Council on Thursday approved a resolution, sponsored by Pakistan, to denounce the vote as Islamophobic.

Twenty countries voted in favour of the resolution, 17 against, while eight abstained.

Nearly 58 per cent of Swiss voters approved an initiative in November banning the construction of minarets.

Earlier this year Switzerland was criticised by the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and by the Libyan leader, Moammar Gaddafi, over the vote.

In a separate ballot the council called on Israel to pay reparations to Palestinians for loss and damages suffered during last year's war in Gaza. with agencies

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