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Demonstration Notice Update

Demonstration Notice Update – 5.30 pm, December 18, 2011

As reported earlier today, demonstrations and violence started in limited areas of Downtown Dhaka this morning and has now spread to many parts of the city. There were reports of deaths and many cars/businesses on fire. American citizens were advised to avoid the area surrounding Downtown Dhaka.

We have now further information that the Bangladesh National Party (BNP) has scheduled an emergency meeting at their Gulshan office located on Road 86, near the intersection with Road 90 (close to the Egyptian Embassy), which could attract a large crowd. While the time of the meeting is unknown, we strongly advise that American citizens avoid road 86 after 5:30pm. In addition, the intersection of road 86 & 90 should be avoided as the crowd could become large and spill over into that area.

We remind American citizens that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possible escalate into violence. American citizens are therefore urged to avoid the areas of demonstrations if possible, and to exercise caution if within the vicinity of any demonstrations. American citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times.

The U.S. Embassy is taking a prudent approach to ensure safety of all employees. The travel of U.S. Embassy employees and their family members remains restricted to the Diplomatic Enclave (Banani, Baridhara and Gulshan) on December 18th as well as the morning of Monday, December 19th. We will provide further updates tomorrow morning regarding afternoon travel to downtown Dhaka. We advise all U.S. citizens to exercise caution and avoid unnecessary travel throughout the country. U.S. citizens are reminded to exercise routine personal security awareness and encouraged to avoid crowds.

The U.S. Embassy’s regular work week is Sunday-Thursday, 08:00-16:30 hours. Emergency American Citizens Services are available at all times. The U.S. Embassy in Dhaka is located at Madani Avenue, Baridhara, Dhaka, Bangladesh 1212, and by telephone at (88) (02) 885-5500 during regular hours and for after-hours emergencies. For after-hours emergency services please press “0” and ask for the duty officer.

U.S. citizens resident or traveling in Bangladesh are urged to enroll with the U.S. Embassy via the Department of State's on-line enrollment service through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). Travel enrollment allows the Department of State to contact its citizens in the event of an emergency and to provide up-to-date safety and security information. Enrollees wishing to receive such information must provide an e-mail address with their enrollment. All enrollees are urged to provide complete contact information and a departure date when signing up on-line.

For the latest security information, U.S. citizens living and traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs internet website, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Alerts, Travel Warnings, and Country Specific Information can be found. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well. You can also download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App to have travel information at your fingertips.

Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada or, for callers in other areas by calling a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

Please monitor the local media for updates. English language local news is available on the following channels at the following times:
BTV - 10:00am, 4:00pm, 10:00pm & 11:30pm
Bangla Vision – 6:00pm
Diganta – 8:30pm

American Citizens Services
U.S. Embassy
Dhaka, Bangladesh