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'Worried over militant threats on Eid' -The Asian Age


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said there had been threats of militant attacks on Eid-ul-Fitr congregations in the country. She, however, praised the intelligence and law-enforcing agencies for their efforts in ensuring a trouble-free Eid-ul-Fitr through staying alert to any possible threats to celebrations of the festival.

The prime minister made the remarks while replying to a journalist's question at a press conference at Ganabhaban in the capital. The press conference was arranged against the background of her recent visits to Japan, Saudi Arabia and Finland.

Earlier, at a reception organized by Bangladeshi expatriates in Finland, Sheikh Hasina had expressed her thanks to Almighty Allah for the hassle-free celebrations amid threats. The journalist at the press conference on Sunday referred to her previous comment and asked her what type of threats had there been during Eid.

Sheikh Hasina cited the bolstered actions of the intelligence and security agencies on any information about possible militant activities after the 2016 Holey Artisan Bakery terrorist attack.

A week after the killings of 17 foreigners and five others in the attack on the eatery in Dhaka's diplomatic district of Gulshan, terrorists targeted the largest Eid congregation of Bangladesh at Sholakia in Kishoreganj. Two policemen and a housewife were killed in bomb blasts and a firefight in the attack.

"I don't want to frighten the people," she said, adding: "You know that different kinds of threats are posted on social media using different names all the time."

"Our intelligence agencies investigate these as much as they can and we take necessary steps against them (people posting threats)."  Sheikh Hasina said such threats were detected before Eid this year. "I was really worried during the Eid congregations because such incidents must be stopped."

She said she always stays in touch with the relevant quarters in Bangladesh while travelling abroad and was relieved to have received a "message" after the Eid congregations that the celebrations had gone off without any incident."The Eid congregations ended properly because our intelligence agencies, police, RAB and other law-enforcing agencies worked sincerely," she added.

---Imran Ali with agencies