There is fresh political trouble brewing in the small island country of Maldives. The country’s Vice President, Ahmed Adeeb, has been arrested and charged with trying to assassinate the country’s President, Abdulla Yameen.
Home affairs minister Umar Naseer has revealed that Ahmed Adeeb was arrested on a charge of high treason in connection with the blast on the presidential boat last month. Adeeb took charge only in July. The Vice President was reportedly arrested when the returned from an official visit to China. He is currently being held at the Dhoonidhoo Detention centre at an island near the capital Malé, the minister revealed on Twitter.
Police have also arrested three of Adeeb’s supporters. Security has been tightened in the capital Malé. Police and soldiers in riot gear have been deployed on the streets.
The blast occurred on the President’s boat on September 28th. This happened as the boat was approaching the main jetty of Malé. Initially it was believed that the blast happened in the boats engine room, but later it was revealed that a bomb was planted under the usual seat where the President sits.
It was a large blast that made part of the roof and the speedboat’s housing cave in. The explosion could be heard a few blocks away. There was heavy smoke even as the boat’s right door fell on the jetty.
Officials said Yameen’s wife, Fathimath Ibrahim, and a bodyguard suffered minor injuries. The 56-year-old president, his wife and many other members of his entourage had to be taken directly to hospital following the incident. However the President escaped unhurt from the attack. The country’s first lady and two other aids were hurt though.
Vice President Ahmed Adeeb has denied any links with the explosion. Interestingly, President Abdulla Yameen had appointed Adeeb as his deputy just three months back after impeaching his original running mate, Mohamed Jameel, on charges of treason.
The President has also sacked his police chief, Hussain Waheed.
Yameen is facing international censure over his crackdown on dissent. He had earlier jailed ex-president Nasheed for 13 years.