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Australia, UK to help Maldives probe attack on ex-president

Australia and the UK will assist the Maldives to probe a terror attack targeting Mohamed Nasheed, the former president and incumbent parliament speaker who was injured in a bomb blast on Thursday evening.

Maldives Police Service said in a statement on Friday that it is investigating “as an urgent priority” the “act of terror targeting the speaker of parliament, former President Mohamed Nasheed.”

The bomb blast took place soon after Nasheed, 53, exited his residence and got into his car in the capital Male on late Thursday evening.

Nasheed was admitted to Male-based ADK Hospital at around 8.30 p.m. local time (1530GMT).

Three members of Nasheed’s security detail and two bystanders – a local and a tourist – were also injured in the attack.

Hospital authorities said Nasheed’s “vitals are currently stable.”

“To further assist in the investigation, two experts from the Australian Federal Police will arrive in the Maldives tomorrow [Saturday] morning. Additionally, two UNODC [United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime] technical experts from the UK, based in the Maldives, are currently assisting the investigation,” said the Maldivian police.

“All evidence indicates that this was a deliberate act of terror,” it added.

Nasheed leads the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party which called the explosion “an act of terror and an attempt on his life.”

The attack triggered widespread condemnation.

“Strongly condemn the attack on Speaker of Maldives Parliament Mohamed Nasheed this [Thursday] evening. Our thoughts and prayers are with Speaker Nasheed and we wish him and all others injured in the attack a speedy recovery,” Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said in a statement.

Source: Anadolu Agency