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No permanent US forces in Bangladesh: Mozena

US Ambassador Dan W Mozena

US Ambassador Dan W Mozena said on Sunday that US special forces visit Bangladesh on different occasions but do not stay here permanently.

Members of US special forces visit Bangladesh if needed. They impart training to the country’s law enforcement agencies on curbing terrorism. They are not permanent here, the US Ambassador said.

He was talking to reporters after visiting the headquarters of Detective Branch of police on Minto road in the capital couple of days after reports were published that US special forces were present in five South Asian countries, including Bangladesh, as part of capacity building in counter-terrorism efforts.

“We have currently special forces assist teams – Pacific assist teams is the term – laid down in Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives, as well as India,” US Pacific Commander Admiral Robert Willard told a Congressional hearing, reports BBC online.

Ambassador Dan W Mozena went to the DB office around 11:00am Sunday and stayed there for around two hours. He visited different units of DB including the bomb disposal unit, Special Weapon and Tactics (Swat) and counter-terrorism unit, CTTUC.

He held a meeting with Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police Benazir Ahmed, DB Joint Commissioner Maruf Hassan and Commissioners Monirul Islam and Mahbubur Rahman.

The US ambassador expressed his satisfaction over the DB activities.

After reports of the Congressional hearing came out, Additional Secretary (Political) of Home Ministry Kamal Uddin Ahmed in Dhaka said on Friday that US special troops were not stationed in the country as some media reports had suggested.

But a US Security team is scheduled to be in the capital on a three-day tour from March 11 to take part in a workshop, he told The Daily Star without going into details.

Lt Col Ziaul Ahsan, intelligence chief of Rapid Action Battalion, said “All year round personnel from different US agencies, including the FBI and the US Security, come to Bangladesh and provide training to the army, navy and others.”

The training programmes cover different issues including counterterrorism, he added.

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Spectator

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