Bandarban tourism ban extended until November 8

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Authorities have extended an ongoing travel ban on four upazilas in Bandarban until November 8 due to a joint operation by security forces in border areas.

The extension decision was announced Friday in a notice signed by Bandarban Deputy Commissioner Yasmin Parvin Tibriji.

Every year, thousands of tourists arrive in the district in winter, but due to the ban, more than 200 hotels, motels and entertainment venues in the district are now empty.

As a result, tourism businesses suffer losses.

Bandarban Hotel Motel Owners Association Finance Secretary Razib Barua said that due to the ban there were no tourists in Bandarban so tourism professionals are suffering financially.

Previously, the ban on tourist travel was imposed in Ruma and Rowangchari upazilas on October 17 and in Thanchi and Alikadam upazilas on October 23 and extended to November 4 on October 30.

On October 21, the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested 10 suspected militants and separatists as well as a large cache of weapons and ammunition after carrying out an operation in the remote areas of Bandarban and Rangamati.

Those arrested include seven members of the newly formed militant group Jama’atul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya and three members of the separatist organization Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF).

A tense situation prevails in the area due to the presence of additional law enforcement personnel and the travel ban, residents said.

Gunfire and explosions were often heard in border areas for a few months as the country’s military clashed with separatist groups.

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