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and genocide (see Blood telegram) to describe events they had knowledge of at the time.
The complete chronology of events as reported to the Nixon administration can be found on the Department of State website.
The first night of war on Bengalis, which is documented in telegrams from the American Consulate in Dhaka to the United States State Department, saw indiscriminate killings of students of Dhaka University and other civilians.
On 16 December 2002, the George Washington University's National Security Archive published a collection of declassified documents, consisting mostly of communications between US embassy officials and USIS centres in Dhaka and India, and officials in Washington DC.
But, the West Pakistani establishment prevented them from forming a government.
According to Indian academic Sarmila Bose, a significant minority of Bengalis, especially from the Islamic parties, continued to support a united Pakistan and a section of Awami League voters may not have supported secession from Pakistan at all; rather, they were hoping to achieve provincial autonomy.
A 1952 protest in Dhaka, the capital of East Pakistan, was forcibly broken up, resulting in the deaths of several protesters.The dispatch wrote: "In Dhaka, where soldiers set sections of the Old City ablaze with flamethrowers and then machine-gunned thousands as they tried to escape the cordon of fire, nearly 25 blocks have been bulldozed clear, leaving open areas set incongruously amid jam-packed slums." It quoted a senior US official as saying "It is the most incredible, calculated thing since the days of the Nazis in Poland." Archer K.Blood, American diplomat wrote in the Blood Telegram: "with support of the Pak military, non-Bengali Muslims are systematically attacking poor people's quarters and murdering Bengalis and Hindus." Bangladeshi authorities claim that as many as 3 million people were killed, although the Hamoodur Rahman Commission, the official Pakistani government investigation, put the figure as low as 26,000 civilian casualties.He wrote: "I saw Hindus, hunted from village to village and door to door, shot off-hand after a cursory 'short-arm inspection' showed they were uncircumcised.I have heard the screams of men bludgeoned to death in the compound of the Circuit House (civil administrative headquarters) in Comilla.