Maldives seeks help to probe blast on president’s boat

Male, Sep 29 (IANS) A team of foreign investigators would arrive in the Maldives to investigate an explosion which took place on the president’s speedboat, the Maldivian government has said.

An explosion ripped the door of the speedboat carrying President Abdullah Yameen, his wife Fatimath and other staff on Monday as it was nearing the main jetty in capital Male, Xinhua news agency reported.

The boat had left from the main international airport on another island after the president and his wife arrived from Haj pilgrimage in Maccah, Saudi Arabia.

The first lady along with two presidential staff officials received minor injuries in the explosion.

Minister at the president’s office and acting Foreign Minister Mohammed Hussein Shareef said police have launched a joint investigation with the country’s armed forces to ascertain the cause of the explosion but have also sought foreign assistance.

“The police requested for foreign assistance. A number of our diplomatic partners have far superior forensics and expertise,” Shareef said.

Following a request from the Maldives, a team of investigators from Saudi Arabia arrived on Monday followed by an expert from the US.

On Tuesday, a team of Australian investigators will arrive in the island nation followed by a team from India.

“The investigators are looking to ascertain whether there were any mechanical or technical issues or whether there was any sabotage or even whether this was a deliberate attempt on the life of the president,” Shareef said.

Investigators are also monitoring the recorded footage of the explosion which was caught on camera by journalists who were on the main jetty, awaiting the arrival of the president to Male.

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