The bomb blast that injured Maldives’ former president Mohamed Nasheed Thursday night was reportedly a terrorist attack, according to the country’s police.
A report in Sun Online, published Friday, quoted a police statement and said the attack on 53-year-old Nasheed, who is the Speaker in Maldives’ Parliament currently, was a terrorist attack and is being investigated with utmost priority.
The explosion took place near the former president’s residence as he was getting into a car. Along with Nasheed, who is undergoing surgery for his injuries, three bodyguards and one British man, who was walking by at the time of the incident, were also injured.
According to local media, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih said he has asked for foreign assistance to investigate the incident and referred to it as “an attack on democracy and the Maldivian economy” during a televised address.
India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar also expressed concern over Thursday’s attack and wished Nasheed a speedy recovery, adding that he knew the former president will “never be intimidated”.
Maldives, a small island nation populated by Sunni Muslims, is not only known as a luxury vacation spot but also for its political turmoil and vulnerability to terrorist elements.
A 2018 UN report found that Maldives had sent the highest per capita number of foreign terrorist fighters to Syria and Iraq in prior years. “Some of these fighters are now returning to the islands, where there are few laws or structures to deal with the threat they may pose,” a 2019 US state government report notes.