Former Maldives President Nasheed injured in blast

MALE: Former Maldives president and current Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed was injured in a blast near his home and was being treated in a hospital.

Maldives Home Minister Imran Abdulla told a local television that Nasheed’s injuries were not life-threatening and that the government will get the assistance of foreign agencies in the investigations.

Police said they were investigating and urged people to avoid the blast area in the capital, Male, in a text message that didn’t give further details.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, a close ally of Nasheed, said an investigation into the explosion was under way.

“Strongly condemn the attack on Speaker of Parliament, President Mohamed Nasheed this evening,” Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid said in a tweet.

“Cowardly attacks like these have no place in our society. My thoughts and prayers are with President Nasheed and others injured in this attack, as well as their families.”

Photos circulated on social media showed a ripped-up motorcycle at the scene but police did not say whether the blast was an assassination attempt.

India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar in a tweet described the blast as an attack on Nasheed. “Wish him a speedy recovery. Know that he will never be intimidated,” he said.

Nasheed, now 53, became the first democratically elected leader of the Maldives after a 30-year autocratic rule. He served as president from 2008 until 2012 when he resigned amid protests.

He was defeated in the following presidential election and became ineligible to enter the 2018 election due to a prison sentence. His party colleague Ibrahim Mohamed Solih won the 2018 presidential election.  In 2019, Nasheed was elected Parliament speaker and he has remained an influential political figure.

Nasheed has championed global efforts to fight climate change, particularly warning that rising seas caused by global warming threaten the low-lying islands of the Indian Ocean archipelago nation.

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