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Bangladesh denies reports of HuJI involvement in Assam blasts

Anisur Rehman in Dhaka | November 02, 2008 18:51 IST

Dismissing as "baseless" reports about suspected involvement of the Bangladesh-based outlawed HuJI militant group in the deadly Assam blasts, Dhaka has said it would never allow this country's territory to be used to aid attacks on other nations.
"The allegations are totally baseless and, as in the past, ... (there is) no evidence to back them up," the Bangladesh Foreign Office said in a statement issued on Saturday night.
It said Bangladesh has adopted the strictest measures against terrorists and would "never allow her territory to be used to aid attacks on other countries."
"This is no time for finger-pointing without proof. Instead, all efforts should be directed at apprehending culprits and bringing them to justice. Bangladesh has strongly condemned these acts of cowardice and shares the pain of the people of India in this sad horror," the statement said.
The Bangladesh Foreign Office reaction came as Indian security officials probed a possible link between Harkat ul Jehad Islamiya and the United Liberation Front of Asom behind the Thursday blasts in Assam that claimed 77 lives.

A senior Home Ministry official in Dhaka preferring anonymity earlier said the allegation about the HuJI engagement was being made without any proof which "is an irresponsible act."
"The Indian authorities earlier also could not come up with any evidence to prove the engagement of any Bangladesh-based outfit in terror attacks on their territory," he said.
A spokesman of the elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion said the outlawed HuJI has lost its "organisational strength" due to a massive security clampdown in the past two years leading to the arrest of most of its top leaders, including its chief Mufty Hannan.
Immediately after the Assam bomb attacks, the interim overnment's Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury sent a letter to External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee condemning the blasts and conveying Bangladesh's condolences to the members of the victims' families.
"It is a cowardly act of terrorism. Violence cannot be a tool for achievement of political objectives," Chowdhury said in a statement.

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