Great Britain

Former Maldives president is off life support after bomb attack

The former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed is conscious after life-saving surgery, his family said on Saturday, as police made two arrests in connection with an explosion they said was being treated as a terror attack.

Nasheed, the president of the ruling Maldivian Democratic party and the current parliament speaker, was critically injured after a bomb exploded as he left his family home in the capital Malé on Thursday.

The former president of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed.
Mohamed Nasheed. Photograph: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters

On Saturday police said they had made two arrests in connection with the blast, without giving further details.

“I’m good,” Nasheed said after coming off life support, according to a tweet by his sister Nashida Sattar. His brother, Ibrahim Nashid, said doctors were happy with Nasheed’s recovery. “He is out of life support and breathing on his own,” he said in a tweet. “Managed to exchange a few words. Promised to come back stronger. I believe him.”

Nasheed, the Maldives’ first democratically elected president, is an outspoken critic of Islamic extremism in the Sunni Muslim island archipelago, and has been instrumental in investigating graft allegations against opposition leaders.

The country has a reputation for political unrest. Nasheed was deposed and exiled in what he called a coup in 2012, while in 2015, the former president Abdulla Yameen escaped unharmed after an explosion on his speedboat.

In 2007, a blast that was blamed on Islamist militants targeted foreign tourists and injured 12 people.

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