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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2247

Explosion' aboard President speedboat, president unharmed

Male, 28 September, (Asiantribune.com):

An "explosion" occurred aboard a presidential speedboat Monday morning as President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom and First Lady Fathimath Ibrahim were returning to capital Male from the nearby airport island.
President Yameen and his spouse were travelling to Male from Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA), which is located on the nearby island of Hulhule. They returned home Monday morning after concluding their visit to Saudi Arabia to perform the annual hajj pilgrimage.

Identities of the president’s entourage aboard the speedboat are yet unclear.

Presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Muaz Ali, meanwhile, confirmed to Haveeru that the president was unharmed.

The president was due to speak to reporters at the presidential jetty in Male.

Haveeru's Ahmed Hamdhoon, who was at the jetty with fellow journalists, 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.

Police quickly cordoned off the area and reporters were barred from the jetty.

Reporters at the scene, however, said individuals were rushed to the state-run Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) and privately managed ADK Hospital in an ambulance. The president’s security detail left the jetty along with the ambulance, suggesting that the president and the first lady were among those taken to the hospital.

The president and the first lady were taken to IGMH. Police had cordoned off the road leading to the hospital's emergency entrance.

Mohamed Hussein Shareef, a minister at the President's Office, told Haveeru the first lady, presidential secretary Fathimath Mohamed Solih and presidential bodyguard Abdu Nasir were the only victims. But all of them suffered minor injuries, he added.

"The president didn't suffer any injuries," Shareef said.

A Haveeru reporter at the ADK Hospital said the injured presidential bodyguard was among those brought to the hospital for treatment. He was, however, later transferred to IGMH.

- Asian Tribune -

A person injured in the explosion aboard the presidential speedboat, Finifenma, Monday morning being transferred to an accompanying police speedboat.
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