Washington says it is urging government of Bangladesh to take action over alleged human rights abuses by Bangladeshi troops.
A U-S State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Wednesday the Bush administration is concerned about reports of human rights abuses -- and that it is monitoring the situation closely.
He said Washington hopes the operation by Bangladeshi troops to round up people in an anti-crime drive will last only as long as is "absolutely necessary" -- although he says it was ordered by a democratically-elected government.
Mr. Boucher also said the U-S government hopes Bangladeshi officials will take other, non-military steps to permanently improve law and order in the country.
Since Prime Minister Khaleda Zia ordered the army to crack down on crime began two weeks ago, an estimated three-thousand people have been arrested, including members of political parties. At least 10 people have died in the campaign.
Mr. Boucher said the U-S Ambassador to Bangladesh, Mary Ann Peters, conveyed the U-S concerns to Bangladeshi Foreign Minister M. Morshed Khan last week.
The State Department spokesman said Ms. Peters told Bangladeshi officials the army needs to act in line with human rights standards -- and that the military should not be used to harass the government's political opponents.