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Wednesday, 19 September, 2001, 14:04 GMT 15:04 UK
US gets Bangladesh backing
Bangladeshis hold a vigil for the victims
At least 50 Bangladeshis are believed to have died
Bangladesh's caretaker government has agreed to a request by the United States for logistical assistance in the event of an attack on Afghanistan.

The US had asked to use Bangladesh's airspace, airfields and port facilities.

We suggest the United States conducts a thorough investigation to identify the real culprits

Matiur Rahman Nizami
The decision was taken after consulting with the main political parties in Bangladesh, which have backed the move.

A non-party caretaker administration is in charge of the government ahead of general elections which are due on 1 October.

A senior foreign ministry official, Shafi Sami, said the government believed there was widespread public support for the development of an international coalition against terrorism.

The move would not damage the stability of Bangladesh, he added.

Political support

In statements, the two main parties - the Bangladesh National Party (BNP) and the Awami League - said the supported the move to fight terrorism.

"In principle, my party will support any such move anywhere in the world to fight terrorism," BNP leader Nazmul Huda told Reuters.

"We will support the US in its fight against terrorism," Shah Kibria, an Awami League leader and former finance minister, said.

Bangladesh is to hold a national prayer service on Friday, the Muslim holy day, for the victims of the attacks in New York and Washington.

At least 50 Bangladeshis are believed to have died in the attack on the World Trade Center in New York.

Religious parties in Bangladesh have condemned the attacks but urged the US not to act in haste.

"Before any action is taken against any group of country, we suggest the United States conducts a thorough investigation to identify the real culprits," Matiur Rahman Nizami of the Jamaat-e-Islami party said.

The Jamaat-e-Islami is Bangladesh's largest Islamic political party.

See also:

17 Sep 01 | South Asia
US seeks Bangladesh assistance
16 Sep 01 | Americas
Q&A: Military options
18 Sep 01 | South Asia
The Taleban military machine
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