07/02/2016, 18.05
BANGLADESH
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Dhaka attack aimed at government to destabilise the country

Yesterday’s attack is “part of a precise plan against the current government,” source tells AsiaNews “with the clear intent of destabilising the country” and undermine its economy. The goal "is to create chaos and sow fear” and “turn Bangladesh into a terrorist stronghold”. Still, “the alternative is not very appealing: the militarisation of the country and the suspension of civil liberties”. Italians and Japanese are among the dead. “We are really sorry for what happened,” says priest in Tejgoan. “We strongly condemn the attack”.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) – Yesterday’s deadly attack by the Islamic State group in the heart of the Bangladeshi capital is “part of a precise plan against the current government with the clear intent of destabilising the country and turn it into a terrorist stronghold like some areas of Pakistan,” a Bangladeshi source, anonymous for security reasons, told AsiaNews.

The target, the Holey Artisan Bakery café, is located in Dhaka’s Gulshan district, and is popular with diplomats and people working for foreign embassies.

Although details remain unconfirmed, the total number of dead now stands at 28. In addition to six terrorists and two policemen, the attack, claimed by the Islamic State, left at least 20 foreign hostages dead, mostly Italian and Japanese. Dozens more are wounded.

"We do not know how many foreigners died, but we are really sorry for what happened,” Fr Kamal Corraya told AsiaNews. “We strongly condemn the attack," added the Catholic priest who heads Teigoan Parish.

Lawrence Gana, also Catholic, is in the restaurant business. "I have five Italian partners. At the moment, they are missing. They were in the restaurant last night, and I have no news. I can’t say whether they are dead or not.”

For the anonymous source, the attack by eight or nine gunmen shouting “Allah is great” is highly symbolic. "They wanted to hit where it hurts the most: foreign investment in Bangladesh,” he explained.

“They hope to get all foreigners to leave the country because they do not care about the welfare of the people. They wanted to show that they could attack the diplomatic heart of the capital, an area supposedly under tight controls."

The goal "is to create chaos and sow fear to turn Bangladesh into a terrorist stronghold. To accomplish this, they must first bring down the government and then spread chaos and fear everywhere. Of course, the alternative is not very appealing: the militarisation of the country and the suspension of civil liberties and democratic rights until the end of the crisis."

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