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US citizens advised to avoid travel to CHT

Unb, Dhaka
The Daily Star, Sep 16, 2006

The US has advised its citizens in Bangladesh to avoid travel to Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) and also downtown Dhaka on Fridays, terming the security situation volatile.

The US State Department has issued a consular notification calling on the US citizens to check with the embassy in Dhaka for the latest information.

The notification said during nationwide strikes or hartals, clashes between rival political groups have resulted in deaths and injuries.

“American citizens are therefore urged to avoid all political protests, demonstrations, and marches. During hartals, they should exercise caution in all areas and remain inside their hotels, residences, schools, or workplace whenever possible,” it added.

Referring to kidnappings and other security incidents, including those involving foreign nationals, the State Department also advised the US citizens against travelling to Khagrachari, Rangamati and Bandarban districts.

The US embassy also recommends against travel to Teknaf, Kutupalong, Ukhia and Ramu of Cox’s Bazar district as it continues to receive reports of incidents of kidnapping, arms and narcotics smuggling and clashes between local people and Rohingya refugees in those areas.

Individuals who choose to visit these districts are urged to exercise extreme caution, it said.

It also said there are unconfirmed reports that Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) remnants remain active and are regrouping to resume violent activities, perhaps in the days leading up to and after the next national elections.

The potential for continued JMB violence, in Dhaka and elsewhere, should continue to be considered real and serious, it added.

It also said the US Embassy continues to see anti-American rhetoric and sporadic anti-American protests following Friday prayers at the national mosque, most recently in the context of the war in Lebanon.

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