Jamaat-e-Islami has accepted responsibility and apologised for the attack on a US embassy vehicle on Pragati Sarani in the capital during yesterday's hartal in which the driver of the vehicle was injured.
The US embassy termed the attack “an affront to the entire international community”.
Jamaat, however, did not accept responsibility for the attacks on law enforcers, and vandalism and torching of vehicles across the country during the hartal. Instead, it accused law enforcers and the ruling party men of attacking its activists.
A flash procession of Jamaat and pro-Jamaat student body Islami Chhatra Shibir activists attacked the US embassy vehicle that happened to be passing the procession, said Abu Saleh, sub-inspector of Khilkhet Police Station.
The pro-hartal activists also attempted to set fire to the car, the SI claimed, adding that the activists had fled the scene before police reached the spot.
Kelly McCarthy, press and information officer of the embassy, yesterday said a US embassy vehicle was attacked in the vicinity of Pragati Sarani and Airport Road yesterday morning, injuring driver and several policemen in the vehicle.
McCarthy said the injured driver was receiving treatment for his injuries.
"The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the attack on our diplomatic vehicle in Dhaka today," she said, adding, "The United States places a high priority on the safety and security of diplomatic personnel and any attack on diplomatic property or personnel is an affront to the entire international community."
She said the US embassy appreciated the assistance and support of the government and Dhaka Metropolitan Police to protect American citizens and US embassy property.
"We call upon the perpetrators to be held accountable for this unprovoked attack on a diplomatic vehicle and its innocent occupants," she said.
In the statement issued last night, Md Shafiqur Rahman, acting secretary general of Jamaat, said, "After carrying out a preliminary enquiry into the matter [attack], we accept responsibility for this unfortunate incident, which is the first of its kind.
“We condemn it. We offer our apology to the US embassy and to the victims and will provide compensation.”
Jamaat, in another statement, thanked people for making the hartal a success. It held police and ruling party men responsible for attacking its pickets.
It claimed that 400 of its activists were arrested by law enforcers.
In a late night development, Havilder Siddiqur Rahman, who was in charge of the team assigned to escort the US embassy officials, filed a case accusing Saiful Azam Munna, Solaiman, Jasim, Khokon Sikder, Rabiul Islam and around 50 more unnamed people in this connection, police said.
The five named accused were picked up from the spot and they would be produced before a court today, said Kamal Hossain, sub-inspector of Khilkhet Police Station.