The UK fears fresh attacks on westerners in Bangladesh and those can be “indiscriminate” in nature, it says in an updated travel advice for Britons, agencies report.
“There is a high threat from terrorism. Further attacks targeting westerners may occur,” summarised its new alert on Bangladesh on Friday.
It came after the government’s assurance to ensure highest security for the foreigners living in Bangladesh after the murder of an Italian in the diplomatic zone, and a Japanese in a northern district.
Special security measures have been taken in the diplomatic zone.
Japanese national Kunio Hushi was murdered on Oct 3 at a Rangpur suburb in a similar way Italian aid worker Cesare Tavella was gunned down on Sep 28 in Dhaka’s diplomatic heart.
The Islamic State has reportedly claimed responsibility for both murders, but the government says it did not find any such link.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said it was a planned way to destabilise the country, pointing the finger at the Jamaat-e-Islami forces as the execution of some high-profile war criminals was looming.
The government, however, assured Dhaka-based diplomats that it will leave no stone unturned to ensure their security.
It is not clear what prompted a fresh fear of terrorism threat.
Reached for comment, the British High Commission spokesperson told bdnews24.com they did not advise against travel to Bangladesh. “The travel advice has been amended to reflect the continued high threat from terrorism in Bangladesh and the risk of further attacks targeting westerners.”
“There are no changes to the parts of Bangladesh to which we advise against travel,” the spokesperson said.
“The safety of British nationals abroad is a major concern for the FCO.
“We, therefore, attach great importance to providing information about personal safety and security overseas, including an assessment of the level of threat from terrorism, to enable people to make informed decisions about travel,” the spokesperson said.
The travel alert read: “There is considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria.
“You should be vigilant at this time,” the UK authorities warned.
They advised nationals to keep “a low profile in all public spaces and limit your attendance at events where westerners may gather, for example in hotels or conference centres”.
“You should be particularly vigilant, consider your movements carefully and take appropriate security precautions.”