US embassy lowers security alert, Italians lift warning for citizens, interests in Dhaka


The US, UK, Australia, and Italy issued a rare security alert in a country with a stable democracy, not normally associated with large-scale Islamist militancy, claiming to have reliable information that their citizens may be attacked by militants.

Cesare Tavella, an Italian aid worker working for a Dutch NGO, was killed by the unknown assailants on Monday evening in the diplomatic enclave in Gulshan amid security concerns on the “Australian interests” in Dhaka.

The US embassy alert had been in effect at a higher level for its staff and citizens since Monday after the Australian government issued a terror alert before the murder.

However, following the murder, the embassy issued ‘shelter-in-place’ order to its staff and citizens.

On Thursday, it lifted that alert and in a new advisory told its employees to use caution when travelling throughout the city.

American citizens in Bangladesh have been asked to continue to take whatever precautions they determine to be prudent, remain vigilant about their personal security, and be alert to local security developments.

The US government personnel and their families have been instructed to limit movements and are prohibited from travelling on foot, motorcycle, bicycle, rickshaw or other uncovered means on all public thoroughfares and sidewalks.

They have been also advised not to attend large gatherings in Bangladesh, including events at international hotels, unless they have obtained Regional Security Office permission.

The Italian embassy, however, removed its alert to the citizens advising them to limit movements.
Police still are in the dark about the motive of the murder that sparked security concerns by western missions in Bangladesh.

International terror group Islamic State purportedly claimed responsibility for the murder, though the government ruled out any such possibility.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, citing the Italian ambassador in Dhaka, also said Rome did not believe that it was an act of the IS that seized large swathes of territory in eastern Syria and across northern and western Iraq.

Source: Bd news24