Colombo, May 9 (newsin.asia): In the case related to the attempted assassination of the Maldivian parliament Speaker and former President Mohamed Nasheed on Thursday, the police have arrested two persons, Maldivian media reported.
The police identified the suspects as Thahmeen Ahmed (32) and Mujaz Ahmed (21) and Adhuham Ahmed Rasheed (25).
The Head of the Crime Investigation Department, Assistant Commissioner of Police Mohamed Riyaz said both Thahmeen and Mujaz have past crime records. While Mujaz is suspected to be directly linked with the person who detonated the IED, Thahmeen is the owner of the motorcycle to which the IED had been strapped.
The motorcycle had a fake license plate. And attempts had been made to conceal the engine registration number also, but the police forensic team recovered the number, Riaz said.
The Commissioner of Police Mohamed Hameed said the two suspects belonged to a “dangerous extremist ideology” and would not hesitate to kill. He did not elaborate in the absence of precise information in this regard.
On Thursday May 6 at 8.20 pm, a non-military Improvised Explosive Device (IED) fixed to a motorbike parked near Nasheed’s car, went off, critically injuring him and three others including a bodyguard.
The police on Saturday released three images of the main suspect in the case taken from CCTV cameras. He was in direct view of Nasheed’s home street when the explosion took place. The police believe that it was he who detonated the IED and have asked for public assistance to establish his identity.
The police have also released CCTV footage of the explosion, which shows Nasheed, surrounded by his security, walking from his residence in the narrow Neeloafaru Hingun to the car parked in Majeedhee Magu. The blast takes place just as he reaches the motorcycle, the IED was strapped to.
On Friday, as Nasheed was undergoing multiple operations at the ADK hospital to remove shrapnel from the head, chest and other parts of his body, the Commissioner of Police, Mohamed Hameed, told the media that there was no prior intelligence about the attack and that no individual or group had claimed to have done it. The Commissioner further said that the attack did not appear to have had any connection to foreign organizations and that the explosive used was not military grade.
The ADK Hospital tweeted to say that it had done 16 hours of “life-saving surgery” on Nasheed’s head, chest, abdomen and limbs and that the Speaker was still in a “critical condition”.
But on Saturday, Nasheed’s sister Nashida Sattar, tweeted quoting Nasheed as saying: “I’m good.” His brother, Ibrahim Nashid, said doctors were happy with Nasheed’s recovery. “He is out of life support and is breathing on his own,” Ibrahim said in a tweet. “Managed to exchange a few words. Promised to come back stronger. I believe him,” Ibrahim added.
The medical team that treated Nasheed told reporters on Saturday that the metal ball bearings used in the blast had caused significant internal damage, but had missed major organs and arteries. One projectile that hit Nasheed’s lungs had narrowly missed his heart because it had struck a rib, doctors said.
Reuters adds that Nasheed, the Maldives’ first democratically-elected President, is an outspoken critic of Islamic extremism in the Sunni Muslim country.
Maldives also has a reputation for political unrest. Nasheed was deposed and exiled in what he called a coup in 2012, while in 2015, former President Abdulla Yameen escaped unharmed after an explosion on his speedboat. In 2007, a blast blamed on Islamist militants targeted foreign tourists and injured 12 people.
In an address to the nation following the incident last night, President Ibrahim Solih revealed that the government would receive assistance from the Australian Federal Police in the investigation into the explosion and that the Australian team would arrive on Saturday.