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Suspects in Hulhumale' stabbings released over insufficient evidence

Fathmath Shaahunaz
10 May 2020, MVT 11:27
Police surveillance cameras in Hulhumale'. PHOTO/MIHAARU
Fathmath Shaahunaz
10 May 2020, MVT 11:27

Maldives Police Service disclosed late Saturday that the suspects arrested over Hulhumale' stabbings in February were released, after the Prosecutor General's (PG) Office declared the evidence insufficient to press charges.

Police stated that the investigation was completed in time and submitted to the PG Office for prosecution within the stipulated period. However, the PG Office had determined that the evidence submitted by the police did not provide enough grounds to prosecute the suspects.

Police assured that they were taking further action to pursue the case.

The attacks took place on February 4, when masked assailants assaulted three foreign nationals, two Chinese and an Australian, with knives near the Hulhumale' Redbull Park Futsal Ground.

A total of eight individuals were arrested in relation to the stabbings, including four that were actively involved in attacking the victims.

On February 6, two days after the stabbings, a suspected group of extremists uploaded a video to social media taking responsibility for the attacks. In the video, a mask-clad man accused Maldives' leaders of apostasy and deceiving the masses, snatching away the wives and children of members of their group, and declared that the act was targeted at the government as retribution.

In late April, the police confirmed that investigations into the stabbings revealed that the act was carried out by terrorists, in retaliation against authorities over the counter-terrorism operation "Asseyri", conducted in Maduvvari in December 2019.

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