Birbhum, Bangladesh (AP) The Birburban newspaper Birbubiya, a Bengali word meaning “the river of the country,” has become a symbol of Bangladesh’s independence movement, and its editor has taken to calling it the country’s “river of independence.”
But the country of 1.2 million is not without its troubles.
Its economy has shrunk by more than half since the early 1990s, and the world’s biggest garment exporter is under pressure from a government-backed garment workers’ union.
And now, some say, the country faces a growing challenge from a militant insurgency that has killed dozens of people and wounded hundreds.
The Birbul Times, a local newspaper, reported that in May, at least five militants detonated a car bomb in the town of Talaat, killing a number of locals and injuring at least 19.
The attack drew international attention and condemnation.
The attacks on the Birbbul Times and other local media have led to protests by local Bengali communities, who have also demanded greater rights for their communities.
The government has promised to crack down on militant violence, but critics say it has not done enough to protect the Birbulis.
The authorities have repeatedly blamed the violence on the militant group Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), which has denied responsibility for the attacks.
“The government says it is working to eradicate the threat, but the reality is that it is failing to stop the violence and that it has only worsened,” said Abul Hassan, a Bangladeshi journalist.
The militants’ activities have been fueled by their desire to spread the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, which emerged from Egypt in the 1970s and is known for its strict adherence to Islamic law.
The Islamists also support a wide range of militant groups in Bangladesh, including the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which is believed to be responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
But the militants have also been targeting religious and ethnic minorities.
They have killed hundreds of people in the past decade, mostly Muslims.
The violence is not confined to Birburs, but has also been spreading throughout the country, especially in Bangladesh’s northeast.
The most recent attacks were in the coastal town of Gharbipur, which has seen hundreds of attacks since 2012, when police killed an estimated 30 attackers.
More than 100 people were killed in another attack in the southern port city of Sylhet on May 14, when a group of assailants attacked a mosque.
The latest attacks are a setback for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who has tried to build on the successes of her government to push for a stronger role for women in politics.
Hasina has also said she will address the Birbolis’ demands for better security for their villages, and promised to take steps to combat the spread of militancy.
“We have to fight this terrorism.
This is a new age,” Hasina said in a statement last month.
“We have a responsibility to fight it.”
The government, however, has not yet fully tackled the problem.
Last month, the government failed to grant the Birboris basic rights, including a basic income, a guaranteed minimum income for all residents and access to health care.
The state-run Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers’ Federation, which represents Birburis, said that the government had made some progress, but more needs to be done.
“However, the situation has been very complicated and the situation is getting worse, with the terrorist attacks continuing,” said Rafiqullah Shah, the federation’s president.
“These attacks are not only targeting the Birbhuri community, but also targeting the women in our communities.”