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US expresses concern over political violence in Bangladesh

Washington:  The US has expressed concern over ongoing political violence in Bangladesh and called on all parties to refrain from violence and work peacefully.

“We remain concerned about the level of political violence in Bangladesh,” a State Department Spokesperson said in response to a question during a news conference yesterday.

“We call on all parties to refrain from violence and to express themselves peacefully. We also stress the need for space that allows for political dissent and that the opposition use such space peacefully and responsibly,” the spokesperson said.

The political unrest since January 5 has claimed over 115 lives mostly in clandestine arson attacks on buses and trucks by suspected opposition activists or hired goons.

Responding to another question on the killing of an American-Bangladeshi blogger by extremists, the official said the FBI is assisting local authorities in its investigation.

“This investigation is ongoing,” the official said.

45-year-old blogger Avijit Roy, known for his critique of religious extremism, was hacked to death in Dhaka by machete- wielding assailants, who attacked the writer as he was returning from a book fair with his wife last month.

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