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Dhaka says HuJI marginalised

Bangladesh says HuJI, which India suspects could be involved in bombings this week in a tourist city, has been marginalised following a crackdown.

world Updated: May 17, 2008 02:27 IST

Bangladesh said on Friday that militant group Harkat-ul-Jihad al Islami (HuJI), which India suspects could be involved in bombings this week in a tourist city, had been marginalised following a crackdown.

Top government officials in Dhaka also urged the Indian media not to jump to conclusions and point the finger at “foreign forces” for the multiple explosions in Jaipur.

“Bangladesh banned the HuJI group years ago after it was banned in the United States and other countries as a top militant organisation,” said Hasan Mahmood Khandaker, director general of the Rapid Action Battalion.

“Dozens of HuJI activists in Bangladesh including their chief Mufti Abdul Hannan have been detained over the years. While we don’t rule out the existence of HuJI in Bangladesh, we can say their activity has been drastically controlled by the security agencies here,” he said.

An e-mail to media, from a group calling itself the Indian Mujahideen, declared open war on India and threatened more attacks on tourists.

Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury, foreign affairs adviser (minister) to Bangladesh’s army-backed interim government said, “No one should point finger at Bangladesh automatically for any suspected HuJI attack in other countries.”