Bangladesh line up armoured personnel carriers for WC
Armoured personnel carriers (APC) are likely to join police vans to give extra security for Cricket World Cup players in Chittagong, officials said on Sunday.
Bangladesh meet England in their day-night World Cup Group B match on March 11 and Netherlands in another late game on March 14 at Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury stadium at the country's main port city, some 300 kilometres southeast of the capital Dhaka.
"We have made a request to the army to deploy APCs to ensure safe movement of the players in the city," Abul Kashem, commissioner of Chittagong Metropolitan Police, told Reuters.
Although the authorities have made elaborate plans including organising the army's strike force for deployment immediately in a crisis, APCs have not been used to so far to back up police and other security staff in Dhaka.
The request was made after a bus carrying West Indies players was hit by stones in Dhaka as Bangladesh fans vented their anger after the hosts were skittled for their lowest ever ODI score of 58 before falling to a nine-wicket defeat.
"Friday's incident tarnished the image of the country and it should never be allowed to recur," Abdul Karim, principal secretary to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, told reporters in Chittagong.
"Security has been tightened across the city, mainly at the stadium and hotels where players and officials of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and Bangladesh Cricket Board will be staying," a police officer added.
Apart from security, traditional hospitality is planned for World Cup players with exclusive zones at Patenga beach, just a few kilometres away from the stadium, reserved for them.
"We are trying to host the players in a different manner so that the event in Chittagong will be always remembered," Ali Abbas, spokesman for the local organising committee, said in a telephone interview.