Maldives president escapes speedboat blast, wife, aides injured

Maldives president escapes speedboat blast, wife, aides injured

Written by Staff Writer

28 Sep, 2015 | 4:10 pm

The president of the Maldives was unhurt but his wife and two aides injured in an explosion on Monday (September 28) on-board their speedboat as it approached Male, capital of the Indian Ocean archipelago, a senior aide told Reuters.

The cause of the blast was not immediately clear, but it was witnessed by several journalists who were waiting to meet President Abdulla Yameen on his return from the Haj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.

Yameen, 59, is a controversial figure both at home and abroad. He rose to power in a bitterly contested presidential election in 2013.

The leader he defeated, Mohamed Nasheed, was jailed earlier this year for terrorism in a case that has drawn international criticism. Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, wife of Hollywood actor George Clooney, called for international sanctions against the Maldives after visiting Nasheed this month.

A broader crackdown against political dissent belies the reputation of the Maldives as a holiday paradise, with radicalised youths enlisting in significant numbers to fight for Islamic State militants in the Middle East.

Yameen had landed earlier at the main international airport of the Maldives, an island chain with a population of 400,000, and was making the short final journey to Male by water with his entourage.

Mohamed Hussain Shareef, minister at the president’s office, told Reuters by telephone that they did not know if the explosion was from explosives or the inboard engine.

A Reuters eyewitness saw Yameen walking and helping an injured victim soon after the explosion, which occurred when his speedboat was just six feet (two metres) from the main jetty.


Shareef said Yameen had accompanied his wife, Fathimath Ibrahim, to Male’s main hospital. A bodyguard who suffered serious injuries and a presidential aide who was slightly hurt were also taken to hospital.



In the latest developments, Local authorities say that assistance has been requested from US and Australia to investigate into the incident.


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Posted by on Monday, September 28, 2015

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