Security inside Bangladesh matter of great concern: US

Those were “horrific attacks”, State Department deputy spokesperson Mark Toner said at a regular briefing in Washington on Monday.

He said the US had earlier offered help to the Bangladesh government by way of “collaboration on the investigations” and “FBI assistance”.

He was replying to a question on his impression about security inside the country in the context of the killing of seven bloggers or online activists in recent years, including that of one last week.

Unknown assailants hacked and shot dead Nazimuddin Samad at capital Dhaka’s Sutrapur on Mar 6.

The al-Qaida of Indian sub-continent reportedly claimed responsibility for the murder.

Samad was known as an online activist vocal against religious extremism. The murder bore similarities with a series of such attacks on online activists in Bangladesh in recent years.

The US had earlier condemned the attack.

Toner again on Monday urged the Bangladesh authorities “to take them (attacks on bloggers) very seriously and to fully investigate these attacks and to support the families of the victims”.

He said those attacks were a ‘matter of concern’. “We’ve seen these kinds of actions before”.

When asked, he maintained the earlier position that granting refuge would be ‘one option’ being considered for those who the US believed were in ‘imminent danger’.

He said they could pursue under those circumstances a request from the Department of Homeland Security to consider something they call ‘humanitarian parole’.

He, however, could not say whether anybody had already applied.