Society

‘Bangladesh’s military must have the capacity to deal with this’: PM

BANGKOK — Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday urged the country’s military to be prepared to tackle the threat posed by the countrys homegrown militant group Bangladesh Islamic Ideology (BIJ) and the country s growing religious tensions.

In a speech in Bangladesh’s capital, she said the country had to “take the necessary steps” to address the rise in violence as a response to the threat of a rising BIJ insurgency, known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and other groups.

Hasina, who is also the country taoiseach, said she was also concerned about the growing number of Bangladeshis who have returned home from abroad to find their lives under the influence of extremist ideologies.

The United States has been working with Bangladesh and other countries to counter the rise of the BIJ and other Islamist groups, including the Islamic Salvation Front, which has carried out deadly attacks.

The country s government has launched a major crackdown on the Bij, but Hasina said the military must be prepared.

Bangladeris have been increasingly angry about what they see as a lack of political will by the military and its allies to address a series of violent crimes, including attacks on police, and have sought to assert their sovereignty over the country.

A total of 29 people were killed in a wave of attacks by the BJ in August and September, the highest number of casualties since 2014.

The BIJ has been blamed for several deadly attacks in Bangladesh.

Hasina said that Bangladesh had been hit by a “huge wave of terrorism,” which had left its people suffering.

Bangls military has been criticized by the government for failing to tackle extremism in the country, and has been accused of having a “culture of impunity” for some of its leaders.

Bangls government on Tuesday suspended all foreign flights in and out of the country in an effort to stem the rising violence.