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US issues another travel advisory for Bangladesh within 7 days

  • Published at 10:36 am April 11th, 2019
web-us-embassy in dhaka
US embassy in Dhaka Dhaka Tribune

The previous travel alert drew criticism from prime minister and home minister

The USA has issued yet another travel advisory, within seven days of the previous alert, warning its nationals to exercise increased caution while travelling across Bangladesh.

The travel advisory warned US citizens to employ extreme level of caution in Dhaka and Southeast Bangladesh, including the Chittagong Hill Tracts, due to “crime, terrorism, and kidnapping.”

Earlier on April 4, the embassy had issued a travel alert “in light of calls for revenge in the wake of” the March 15 terrorist attack on two mosques in New Zealand where five Bangladeshis were among 40 Muslims was killed during prayers.

Also Read- Home minister: Issuing security alerts a US 'practice'

The US move drew stark criticism from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who requested the Americans to share any related information they had with Bangladesh.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal had also said issuing security alerts across different countries has become a US “practice.”

"We have not received any information on security threats to foreign nationals in our country," the minister had said. "There are no threats. I do not know why the US has issued a security alert."

US travel advisory

The US travel advisory warned: “Violent crime, such as armed robbery, assault, and rape, is widespread. Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Bangladesh. 

“Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, restaurants, places of worship, and local government facilities. There is a possibility of terrorist attacks in urban areas despite the heavy police presence,” the advisory said 

The US government has also directed its personnel stationed in Bangladesh to live, work, and travel under strict security guidelines.

US government’s strict guideline to its personnel in Bangladesh

  • Do not travel on foot (walking, running) and biking outside of designated areas and times
  • Do not travel via non-registered rickshaws outside designated areas and times
  • Do not travel via motorcycle or compressed natural gas auto-rickshaws (CNG) on public thoroughfares and sidewalks
  • Do not visit public establishments outside of designated areas and times
  • Do not attend large gatherings, including events at international hotels, without prior permission
  • Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page
  • Avoid all demonstrations or political gatherings
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt. Flee to a safe area and report the situation to the local authorities

The travel advisory for Dhaka warns of high crime rate, which can be organized or opportunistic, conducted by individuals or groups, and commonly includes fraud, theft, robbery, carjacking, rape, assault, and burglary.

The US Embassy also issued travel advisory for the Southeast Bangladesh, terming the region dangerous. 

Travel to Khagrachhari, Rangamati, and Bandarban Hill Tracts districts (collectively known as the Chittagong Hill Tracts) was discouraged due to kidnappings and other security incidents.