WASHINGTON - The United States has strongly condemned the ongoing violence in Bangladesh and urged the ruling Sheikh Hasina government to provide necessary space for peaceful political activity. “The United States is gravely concerned by the ongoing unrest and violence in Bangladesh. We deplore the unconscionable attacks including bus burnings, throwing incendiary devices, and train derailments that have killed and wounded innocent victims. We condemn in the strongest terms the use of violence for political objectives,” State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf said on Thursday.  “We call on the government to provide the necessary space for peaceful political activity, and for all parties to instruct their members to refrain from violence,” Ms. Harf said at the daily press briefing.

 “The United States is gravely concerned by the ongoing unrest and violence in Bangladesh,” Harf said.

There is simply no justification for such actions in a democratic Bangladesh, she said, adding that all Bangladeshis must have the right and the ability to express their views peacefully.

Nationwide anti-government protests have been going on in Bangladesh and the death toll in the month-long political violence has mounted to over 60.

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) began the protests on January 6, marking the first anniversary of the controversial polls it boycotted and the ruling Awami League won.

The BNP boycotted the elections after its demand to hold the polls under a neutral caretaker government was rejected.