John Kerry heads to Bangladesh, India amid South Asian tensions
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John Kerry heads to Bangladesh, India amid South Asian tensions

U.S. SECRETARY of State John Kerry will arrive today in Bangladesh and will visit India after, amid increasing concerns about terrorism in both South Asian nations.

The most recent attack killed 20 people, including 17 foreigners, last month in Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility, but authorities maintain a local banned group was behind it.

On Saturday, Bangladesh police said they killed three militants, including the mastermind behind the Dhaka attack, during a raid at a two-story house in the Narayanganj district nearby.

The alleged mastermind is known as Tamim Chowdhury, a Bangladeshi-born Canadian.

SEE ALSO: Dhaka cafe attack mastermind among 3 killed by Bangladeshi forces

According to Associated Press, during his visit, Kerry plans to discuss counterterrorism cooperation along with human rights and development with officials.

A Reuters report said the Secretary of State will also be discussing growing U.S.-Bangladesh cooperation on international issues, as well security matters.

In India, Kerry will attend the seventh meeting of the U.S.-India strategic dialogue.

That meeting coincides with a sharp rise in tensions in the disputed region of Kashmir — scene of some of the largest protests against Indian rule in recent years.

SEE ALSO: Dhaka: 18 foreigners and 2 Bangladeshis killed in restaurant attack, police confirm

Last week, police in India’s portion of Kashmir arrested one of the key separatist leaders spearheading the protests in the disputed region.

Police arrested Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who was already under house arrest, late Friday and locked him up in a government facility in Srinagar, the region’s main city.

A strict curfew and a tightening crackdown by authorities have failed to stop some of Kashmir’s largest protests against Indian rule in recent years, triggered by the killing of a popular rebel commander on July 8.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, the region’s top elected official, met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Saturday, seeking a comprehensive dialogue with Kashmiri separatist leaders and neighboring Pakistan to try to resolve the dispute over Kashmir.

Unrest in the region, which has dragged on since the late 1980s, is said to have claimed the lives of over 68,000 people.

Additional reporting by Associated Press