DHAKA, March 15 (Xinhuanet) -- The United States has suspended indefinitely its peace corps activities in Bangladesh due to possibility of terrorist attempts on the peace corps volunteers in retaliation for the capture of five top militant leaders.
"The Peace Corps in Washington D.C. has decided to suspend indefinitely its program in Bangladesh due to the possibility that terrorist elements might attempt to attack Peace Corps Volunteers in Bangladesh, perhaps in retaliation for the recent capture of five of the top seven leaders of Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB)," a U.S. embassy announcement said here Wednesday.
It said the Peace Corps made the decision following a careful assessment of Bangladesh's prevailing security environment, and did not base its conclusions on any single threat or incident.
"We have welcomed the capture of Abdur Rahman and Bangla Bhai of the JMB as significant steps forward in the campaign against terrorism and extremism," said the announcement.
"Ironically, one consequence of that success is to concern over possible reprisal attacks against Americans or other Western nationals by JMB activists still at large," it said.
The announcement, however, said "the security situation in Bangladesh will be periodically reviewed to determine whether to end or continue the suspension."
There are 71 Peace Corps volunteers engaged in primary activities in schools and youth centers, hospitals and NGOs. They are in the process of leaving the country.
JMB chief Abdur Rahman and second-in-command Bangla Bhai were separately arrested by security forces in March 2 and 6. They are blamed for a series of bomb blasts and suicide attacks that killed 28 people and injured hundreds in Bangladesh since August 17 last year. Enditem