Bangladesh: Kerry Talks Security With PM Hasina

Cheryl Sanders
August 31, 2016

The US Secretary of State John Kerry yesterday arrived in Bangladesh in order to strengthen cooperation on the fight against terrorism after police announced in a statement that they had killed a group of fighters that were accused of carrying out a terrorist attack on restaurants in Dhaka in July.

Responding to questions after giving a speech, Kerry said he had a "very candid" conversation with Hasina. More than 68,000 people have been killed since rebel groups began fighting Indian forces in 1989 and in the subsequent Indian military crackdown.

The current S& CD would be reviewing the progress made so far in strengthening the agreed upon issues and lay down the road map for the ensuing year, under the two tracks, the Union ministry said.

The United States is increasing its counter-terror coordination with Bangladesh, Secretary of State John Kerry announced during his trip this week to South Asia.

But speaking after meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on a one-day visit to the capital, Dhaka, Kerry said there was "no argument" that extremists operating in Bangladesh had links to counterparts in Syria and Iraq.

On Saturday, the suspected mastermind behind the cafe attack was reportedly killed by police in Dhaka, and hours before Kerry's arrival on Monday, Bangladesh police shot dead two suspected JMB members in the northern town of Sherpur.

Muslim-majority Bangladesh faces a growing threat of militant violence with a string of incidents this year including the killing of several liberal activists and attacks on minority Shi'ite Muslims, Christian priest, Hindu temples, bloggers and free-thinkers.

"We're working with partners to make Bangladesh resilient against all odds", Kerry said.

Kerry urged the government of Bangladesh to resist the temptation to shut down public debate or stifle opposition groups as a way to combat the threat.

"The president still talks about [terrorism] a lot and we talk about the significant resources that are invested in protecting the American people, both at home and around the world", Earnest said. At least 68 civilians have been killed and thousands injured in the Himalayan region, mostly by government forces firing bullets and shotguns at rock-throwing protesters since early July. On Monday, Indian authorities lifted a curfew in most parts of Indian-controlled Kashmir as part of a 52-day security lockdown but tensions persist.

Other reports by iNewsToday