Dhaka – Bangladesh has sought international assistance to fight terrorism after its capital came under terrorist attack last week leaving at least 20 civilians, mostly foreign nationals, killed in a restaurant siege.
“The government is determined to eliminate terrorism at any cost. We are calling for assistance from neighbouring and friendly countries to this end,” Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan told a press conference in Dhaka four days after the attack.
He said Dhaka will accept offers on counter-terrorism assistances from other countries.
The government has ensured foolproof security for the foreigners in Bangladesh.
Troops, early on Saturday, stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery restaurant in Dhaka’s Gulshan diplomatic and recovered bodies of 20 civilians comprised nine Italians, seven Japanese, one India, two Bangladeshis and a US national.
The militants, who hacked the civilians inside the restaurant, were killed during the operation.
Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali at a meeting with foreign diplomats stationed in Dhaka briefed the post-attack situation and assured them of safety in Bangladesh.
“Terrorism is a global challenge and Dhaka will continue to work closely with other countries, regional bodies and the UN to fight off the menace,” he said after the meeting.
He also said the law enforcement agencies are on alert and security measures have been strengthened further after the attack, claimed by Islamic State, a radical Sunni Islamic group controlling parts of Syria and Iraq.
Earlier on Sunday, US Secretary of State John Kerry phoned Prime Minister Hasina offering Bangladesh assistance to stamp out terrorism and militancy.
Bangladesh denied the claims by IS that the group carried the attack saying that the attackers were all home-grown.
Home Minister Ahmed said that the relatives of the attackers identified them. All of them are members of local extremist organisations outlawed by the government, he added.
He said a case was filed in connection with the Friday’s attacks and the investigators have been trying to spot the mastermind of the attackers.