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Foreigners restrict movements in Bangladesh after ISIS-claimed killings


Written By: Towhid
27/11/2015 10:56
Bangladesh

DHAKA, Bangladesh — Until a few weeks ago, Anne Merton, an Australian, traveled freely around her adopted country, taking a bicycle or rickshaw to work, where she runs a job service in Dhaka’s slums.

But for Merton and many others, life in Bangladesh’s crowded capital has changed significantly since a string of terrorist attacks this year, including shootings claimed by the Islamic State that left two foreigners dead and a third, an Italian missionary, seriously wounded.

Many have stopped walking or bicycling to work in favor of company cars. An international AIDS conference was postponed and other events canceled. Those that were held, such as this month’s Dhaka Lit Fest, had heightened security. Aid organizations from Japan and Australia have begun quietly sending their workers and volunteers home.

Those who remain have been buying groceries online and going home before dark. The U.S. Embassy is no longer permitting its personnel and their families to be in most public places such as thoroughfares, sidewalks and large gatherings, including those held at international hotels.

“I’m trapped in my apartment,” said Merton, 61. “I haven’t felt safe.”

She said the only places she can sit outside are the city’s private clubs, where she socializes with other expatriates behind high walls with armed guards. She and her husband are considering leaving the country.

“It’s changed my life,” she said. “Turned it upside down, really. I don’t know that I can return to what it was.”

In February, an Atlanta-based Bangladeshi American blogger named Avijit Roy was leaving a book fair in Dhaka with his wife when he was hacked to death by assailants wielding cleavers.

Police said the killers were Islamist fundamentalists who objected to Roy’s secular writings on faith and culture. Since then, three other bloggers have been killed, as well as Roy’s publisher, Faisal Arefin Dipan, who was slain in his office Oct. 31.

Fears that the security situation in Bangladesh is spiraling out of control intensified in recent days when the Islamic State asserted responsibility online for attacks on three foreigners, a Shiite religious procession and a police checkpoint.

An Italian aid worker was shot and killed Sept. 28 while jogging in the diplomatic enclave, and a Japanese agriculture worker was fatally shot Oct. 3 in a rural area. On Nov. 18, Piero Parolari, an Italian missionary, was shot and wounded in the northern district of Dinajpur. Other priests received death threats, and the Hindu leader of a religious forum was attacked by knife-wielding assailants Tuesday.

The Islamic State boasted of its alleged expansion into Bangladesh, which it calls “Bengal,” in an article titled “The Revival of Jihad in Bengal” in its online English magazine, Dabiq, released last week.

“These blessed back-to-back attacks have caused havoc among the citizens of the crusader nations and their allies living in Bengal and forced their diplomats, tourists, and expats to limit their movements and live in a constant state of fear,” the article said. It mocked the Bangladeshi government and called on all Muslims in the country to support the Islamic State’s cause.

 

 

 

 

 


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About Towhid

  • Name: TOWHIDUL ISLAM
  • From: LONDON
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    I AM A LAW GRADUATE ,LOOKING FORWARD TO STUDY BPTC(BAR PROFESSIONAL TRAINING COURSE) SOON. I  HAVE INTEREST ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND SOCIAL WELFARE. I ALSO HAVE INTEREST ON COUNTER TERRORISM,PEACE STUDIES,DIPLOMACY AND FOREIGN RELATIONS.

    I AM AN ACTIVE MEMBER OF AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL UK AND LIBERTY- TWO OF THE LEADING HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANISATIONS.

    I LIKE SOCIALISNG WITH FRINDS AND FAMILY.LIKE TO READ, WRITE AND COMMENTS ON VARIOUS TOPICS.

    IN MY SPARE TIME I READ BIOGRAPHIES AND WATCH DOCUMENTARIES ON DIFFERENT ISSUES. 

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