U.S. calls for inquiry into the spate of killings

"It is a very complex situation on the ground," State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner told reporters when asked about the series of killings of activists in Bangladesh.

April 30, 2016 10:34 am | Updated November 17, 2021 05:07 am IST - Washington

Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. File photo.

Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. File photo.

The United States has asked the Bangladesh government to investigate all the recent killings. State Department spokesperson Mark Toner on Friday told a media briefing that the situation in Bangladesh is “very complex”, and said the U.S. wants to see Bangladesh government take every step possible to protect its citizens.

Mr. Toner’s statement follows U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s phone call to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday, urging her to conduct a thorough investigation into the recent murders, including the recent one of LGBT rights activist Zulhaz Mannan, who was an official at the USAID in Bangladesh.

Diplomatic sources also said that Nisha Desai Biswal, U.S. Assistance Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, will visit Bangladesh to discuss cooperation on counterterrorism. Ms. Biswal, who is expected to come on May 4 will hold meetings with high officials of the Prime Minister’s Office and Ministry of Home and Foreign Affairs. Mr. Kerry, during his conversation with Ms. Hasina, also offered U.S. support for the ongoing investigation into these recent attacks. He also urged her to redouble law enforcement efforts to prevent future attacks and protect those who may be at risk of being targeted.

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