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Friday, March 31, 2023

US asks its citizens to exercise increased caution during travel in Bangladesh

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The United States government has issued a travel advisory asking its citizens to exercise increased caution in Bangladesh due to crime, terrorism, and kidnapping.

The travel advisory, issued on November 22 last, by the US State Department, keeps Bangladesh at Level 2, which means exercising increased caution.

In Bangladesh, the travel advisory says that the crime rate impacting foreigners is generally low. However, travelers should be aware of petty crimes such as pickpocketing in crowded areas. Crimes such as muggings, burglaries, assaults, and illegal drug trafficking constitute the majority of criminal activity in Bangladesh’s major cities, but there are no indications foreigners are being targeted because of their nationality. These crimes tend to be situational, based on time and location.

“Terrorism events can happen with little or no warning, with terrorists targeting public areas such as tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, restaurants, places of worship, school campuses, and government facilities.”

The travel advisory says because of security concerns U.S. government employees in Bangladesh are subject to movement and travel restrictions. The U.S. government may have limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Bangladesh due to these travel restrictions, a lack of infrastructure, and limited host government emergency response resources.

It also asked it citizens to reconsider travel to southeast Bangladesh, including the Chittagong Hill Tracts, due to crime, terrorism, and kidnapping.

“Travel is dangerous to the Khagrachari, Rangamati, and Bandarban Hill Tracts districts (collectively known as the Chittagong Hill Tracts) due to occasional communal violence and other security risks. Prior approval from the Government of Bangladesh Ministry of Home Affairs Office of Public Safety is required if you plan to travel to these areas.”

It also requested the US citizens to visit the State Department’s website for information on Travel to High-Risk Areas.

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