Crime & Justice

Maldives police look for 4 suspects in blast that hurt ex-president Nasheed

Male, May 7 (EFE).- Maldives police said Friday that they were looking for four suspects for a possible role in an explosion that wounded former president Mohamed Nasheed who is recuperating in a Male hospital.

Nasheed, 53, currently the parliament speaker, was critically wounded in the IED blast on Thursday afternoon.

The former president underwent multiple surgeries at a private hospital in the capital.

“President Nasheed underwent a successful final, critical, life-saving procedure this afternoon,” a hospital statement said.

“He had life-saving surgery on injuries to his head, chest, abdomen and limbs. He remains in a critical condition in the intensive care.”

Police said the explosion was an act of terror and that four unidentified persons were near the blast site who may have a role to play.

Police have also got the details of the motorcycle used in the explosion.

“Evidence indicates that this was an act of terror targeted at Mohamed Nasheed. There are four people of interest that the investigation is pursuing,” police commissioner Mohamed Hameed told reporters here.

Hameed said the police had no intelligence input before the attack.

Security forces have stepped up security measures in the capital Male, with soldiers at households of some lawmakers and utilities.

Hameed also confirmed that two British specialists currently in the Maldives were assisting police with the investigation.

India, the US, and Australia have also offered assistance in the probe.

The blast took place in the late afternoon on Thursday when Nasheed walked out of his residence in the Neeloafaru Magu neighborhood to get into his car.

In 2008, Nasheed became the first democratically elected leader of the chain of islands, some 700 km (435 miles) southwest of India.

Three years after his government was toppled, Nasheed was convicted of terrorism for having fired a judge while president and was sentenced to 13 years in prison.

He spent a year in custody before being allowed to travel to London for medical care. Once in the United Kingdom, Nasheed successfully applied for political asylum.

When a colleague from his Maldivian Democratic Party won the 2018 presidential election, Nasheed returned to the archipelago and convinced a court to overturn his 2015 conviction, enabling him to be elected to parliament in 2019. EFE


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