Former Maldives president and current parliamentary speaker Mohamed Nasheed was recovering in hospital Friday after an assassination attempt left him with shrapnel wounds.
The Indian Ocean archipelago’s first democratically elected leader was hurt when a device attached to a motorcycle was detonated as he got into a car late Thursday, an official said. “Nasheed escaped an assassination attempt,” a Maldivian government official told news agency. “He is injured, but his condition is stable.”
Images on social media showed a destroyed motorbike at the scene of the attack. Armed police units and security forces cordoned off the area in the capital Male where the attack took place, and the Maldivian parliament, which was in recess, called an emergency meeting following the attack.
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, a close ally of Nasheed, said an investigation was under way as officials rushed to denounce the targeted attack on the country’s second most powerful figure.
“Strongly condemn the attack on Speaker of Parliament, President Mohamed Nasheed this evening. Cowardly attacks like these have no place in our society,” Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid said in a tweet. “My thoughts and prayers are with President Nasheed and others injured in this attack, as well as their families,” he tweeted.
A family member said Nasheed had sustained several wounds. “They have put him under anaesthesia. There is a deeper cut on one of his arms,” the family member told news agency, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The relative said Nasheed was responsive and spoke with doctors as he was admitted with shrapnel injuries. One of his bodyguards was also taken to hospital.