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  FBI: No blast on Maldives President’s boat

FBI: No blast on Maldives President’s boat

AFP
Published : Nov 2, 2015, 6:36 am IST
Updated : Nov 2, 2015, 6:36 am IST

The FBI has said it found no evidence an explosion on board the Maldives President’s boat was caused by a bomb, a report said, raising questions about his deputy’s arrest over the incident.

The FBI has said it found no evidence an explosion on board the Maldives President’s boat was caused by a bomb, a report said, raising questions about his deputy’s arrest over the incident.

President Abdulla Yameen was unharmed in the blast on his speed boat which authorities described as an assassination attempt. The September 28 explosion left his wife and two others slightly injured.

The police arrested vice-president Ahmed Adeeb nearly a month later for treason as he returned to the Indian Ocean archipelago from an official trip abroad.

The arrest followed a series of sackings of government officials including Yameen's defence minister, which have fuelled concerns of political instability and further damaged the Maldives’ image as an upmarket tourist destination.

The FBI found that debris from the blast, at first considered possible remnants of a bomb, were in fact parts of the boat, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.

The Maldives government, however, insisted Sunday its President had survived an assassination attempt.

Home minister Umar Naseer said he had received a report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

But Mr Naseer described the US agency’s report as “inconclusive”, adding that Saudi Arabian and Sri Lankan investigators had confirmed the likelihood of a bomb.

“The FBI report only said there wasn’t conclusive evidence found from the scene to suggest that an explosive device had been used to trigger the blast,” Mr Naseer told reporters in the capital Male.

“The US team had taken 10 samples, but none of which had shown traces of an explosive.”

“The Saudi forensic team had taken a total of six samples for analysis. Traces of high-grade explosives were found from one of the samples. This finding is also backed by the team from Sri Lanka,” he said.

The Maldives asked the US, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, India and Australia for help with the blast investigation. Since the explosion, the President has ordered a major shake-up of his security.

Location: Maldives, Maale, Male