Maldives president unharmed, wife injured in speedboat blast

Male, Sep 28 (IANS) The president of the Maldives was unhurt but his wife and two others were injured in an explosion on board their speedboat on Monday as it was about to dock at a jetty in capital Male, the media reported.

President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom and First Lady Fathimath Ibrahim were travelling to Male from Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA), which is located on the nearby island of Hulhule. They were returning home from visit to Saudi Arabia after performing the Haj pilgrimage, Haveeru online reported.

Presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Muaz Ali confirmed that the president was unharmed.

Winesses reported seeing the door of the speedboat, named “Finifenma” (Dhivehi for rose), burst open while it was about to dock at the jetty. A loud explosion was also heard at the time, he said.

President Yameen was quickly transferred to an accompanying police speedboat and brought to Male.

Mohamed Hussein Shareef, a minister at the President’s Office, said First Lady Fathimath, presidential secretary Fathimath Mohamed Solih and presidential bodyguard Abdu Nasir were injured.

But all of them suffered minor injuries, he added.

“The cause of the explosion is yet unknown,” Shareef said.

Videos shot following the explosion show the first lady lying down on a bench inside the speedboat. The president is seen leaning towards his injured spouse to help her, but his security detail quickly moved to transfer him to the accompanying police speedboat.

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