Maldives pres’ boat blast footage made public

7447_da8e1356d1e1f10d06f492e4fc5fa6bb5885fc893c05676869df78a7528a568e_newsNational inquiry commission set up in connection to the explosion aboard the presidential speedboat carrying president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom shared a video of the incident with local media late Tuesday.

President Yameen and his spouse were travelling to Male from Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA), which is located on the nearby island of Hulhule, on September 28 when the explosion took place. They had returned home that morning after concluding their visit to Saudi Arabia to perform the annual hajj pilgrimage.

This is the first time the special commission had shared information in relation to the explosion.

During a late press conference on Monday, government spokesperson read out the statement of the commission which said it would make every effort to ensure that such incidents do not recur.

The one minute 28 seconds video clearly shows the explosion as the speedboat neared the official jetty. The glass door of the VIP cabin is blown off and screams can be heard from inside.

Muaz said information of the investigation into the blast will be shared with the public in due course.

The president was unhurt, but the first lady suffered a spinal fracture while presidential secretary Fathimath Mohamed Solih and bodyguard Abdu Nasir received minor injuries including burns.

The first lady remains hospitalised and is still unable to walk, Muaz had said on Monday.

Police are taking statements from eyewitnesses including journalists present at the scene on the day. They were assisted by an international team, which consisted of forensic experts from India, Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the US. Some parts of the speedboat have also been sent abroad for further forensic analysis.

The government had said the explosion could be a targeted attack on the president.

Meanwhile, two army officers linked to the armoury have been “detained”, several sources said Tuesday.

It is unclear why the two officers were arrested on Monday evening, but sources said the arrest of officers directly affiliated with the armoury was not a coincidence.

Both the police and the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) are yet to comment on the arrests.

The arrests came a day after the government brought a major shakeup to the Special Protection Group (SPG), tasked with the security of the president and top state officials.

The SPG under the MNDF has been split into two divisions. The security in-charge of President Yameen has also been transferred.

Earlier Tuesday, two personal security officers attached to Vice President Ahmed Adheeb Abdul Ghafoor were also reportedly replaced. (Courtesy Haveeru.com)

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