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Vehicle Carrying US Ambassador to Bangladesh Attacked in Dhaka


Students run after clashes with the police during a protest over recent traffic accidents that killed a boy and a girl, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Aug. 5, 2018. A vehicle carrying the U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh Marcia Bernicat was attacked in the capital Dhaka on Aug. 4, 2018.

A vehicle carrying the U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh Marcia Bernicat was the subject of a late-night attack in the capital Dhaka, on Saturday as she was leaving a farewell dinner for the chief of a nongovernmental organization.

A statement issued by the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka said the official vehicle transporting the Ambassador was "attacked by a group of armed adult men, some on motorcycles in the Mohammadpur area," adding that the Ambassador and her security team "departed the area unharmed."

"We can confirm there was a protest near an event the Ambassador was attending this evening. The Ambassador left unharmed and has returned home safely," the statement said.

The U.S. Embassy in Dhaka expressed its appreciation to police for their "quick and professional response following the incident."

On Sunday, a State Department spokesman released a statement, saying, "There were no injuries to the ambassador, her drivers, or security staff. However, two security vehicles sustained some damage."

Bernicat was attending a dinner for Badiul Alam Majumder, vice president of human rights group The Hunger Project, and also its Bangladesh country director.

Former Bangladeshi foreign minister Kamal Hossain is also believed to have attended the dinner.

Thousands of students have been protesting traffic conditions in Dhaka over the past week, but it is still unclear whether Saturday's attack on the U.S. ambassador was related to those protests.

(VOA's Cindy Saine, and VOA Bangla service contributed to this story.)