Senior US diplomat to visit Bangladesh next week

Washington, Mar 26: A top US diplomat will visit Bangladesh next week to hold talks with officials and civil society members on issues of governance and ways to combat violent extremism in the country.

US Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights Sarah Sewall will visit Bangladesh and Thailand during her six-day trip beginning on March 25.

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She will meet top government officials and interact with several civil society members, the State Department said yesterday.

In Bangladesh, Sewall will meet with the government officials and civil society representatives to discuss governance issues and cooperation in countering violent extremism.

She will also deliver a public lecture, "Our Shared Struggle against Violent Extremism," at Dhaka University.

Her visit assumes special significance as Dhaka has been grappling with violence over the past six months against minorities, secular bloggers and foreigners.

The dreaded Islamic State outfit has claimed responsibility for all the recent terror incidents. A top Shia preacher and homoeopathic doctor was stabbed to death in southwestern Bangladesh on March 14 in an attack claimed by the dreaded Islamic State group.

Earlier, a Hindu head priest was hacked to death on February 21 by gun-and-cleaver wielding Islamists at a temple in northern Panchagarh district's Debiganj Upazila.

In September last year, an Italian aid worker Cesare Tavella was murdered by unidentified assailants in Dhaka, followed by the killing of a Japanese farmer Kunio Hoshi. Both attacks were claimed by IS-affiliated militants.


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