Maldives president escapes blast aboard speedboat

Wife and aide accompanying controversial leader Abdul Gayoom back from Hajj have reportedly suffered minor injuries.

    Minister Mohamed Shareef said the blast on Monday morning occurred as the boat reached the main jetty in the capital, Male [Reuters]
    Minister Mohamed Shareef said the blast on Monday morning occurred as the boat reached the main jetty in the capital, Male [Reuters]

    The president of Maldives has escaped unhurt from a blast on his speedboat as he was returning home after performing the Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

    Yameen Abdul Gayoom's wife, Fatima Ibrahim, and an aide suffered minor injuries while a bodyguard sustained relatively serious injuries following Monday's incident, according to a government official.

    "There was an explosion at President Gayoom's official speedboat near Male jetty. The president is unhurt, but the first lady was slightly injured," Mohamed Hussain Shareef, minister at the president's office, told Reuters news agency.

    He said the explosion occurred as the boat reached the main jetty in the capital, Male.

    The cause of the blast, thought to have happened in the engine room, was not known, Shareef said,

    Boating accidents and fires are common in the Indian Ocean nation.

    President Gayoom, 59, is a controversial figure both at home and abroad. He rose to power in a bitterly contested presidential election in 2013.

    The leader he defeated, Mohamed Nasheed, was jailed this year for terrorism in a case that has drawn international criticism.

    Amal Clooney, a human rights lawyer, called for international sanctions against the Maldives after visiting Nasheed this month.

    The country's international airport is on a different island and a short boat trip is needed to reach the capital island [AP]

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Cricket World Cup 2019 Quiz: How many runs can you score?

    Cricket World Cup 2019 Quiz: How many runs can you score?

    Pick your team and answer as many correct questions in three minutes.

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    No, it wasn't because of WMDs, democracy or Iraqi oil. The real reason is much more sinister than that.