Bangladesh: Travel advice

A bomb attack on a large gathering by the Shia community in the Old City of Dhaka occurred early in the morning of Saturday 24 October. One person is reported killed and many injured. In view of the current high threat of terrorism against Westerners in Bangladesh, current advice to keep a low profile in all public spaces, limit attendance at events where Westerners may gather and take particular care where there are large gatherings should be followed.

There is continuing tension between the government and the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) led 20 Party Alliance. In January 2015 the opposition called a nationwide blockade of road, rail and river transport and held a programme of general strikes (hartals). These lasted several months and resulted in a number of deaths, including from arson attacks on public transport. While not formally lifted, politically motivated disruption and violence have reduced considerably since April 2015.

Protests and demonstrations can quickly turn violent and lead to clashes with law enforcement agencies. Violent attacks, incidents of arson, and vandalism can suddenly break out across the country, mainly in towns and cities.

Remain vigilant and take appropriate security precautions. Take particular care where there are large gatherings, political offices and rallies.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to the Chittagong Hill Tracts. This does not include the city of Chittagong or other parts of Chittagong Division.

There is a high threat from terrorism. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has claimed responsibility for the recent murders of two foreign nationals. Further attacks targeting westerners may occur and could be indiscriminate. You should be particularly vigilant, consider your movements carefully and take appropriate security precautions. Keep a low profile in all public spaces and limit your attendance at events where westerners may gather, for example in hotels or conference centres.

Remember to take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel. 

Stuart Beaty

Celsium, Birmingham, UK