Explosion near the home of Majilis Speaker and Former President Mohamed on Thursday night was most probably initiated using a remote controlled device, Chief of Defence Force Major General Abdulla Shamaal said Friday night.
In the first press conference by MNDF after the incident, Shamaal branded it an act of terrorism and stated that an improvised explosive device (IED) was used.
He said that they believed the explosion was not timed, but rather remote controlled.
"To make the explosion lethal, they used powdered razor, which is a tool often used in homemade explosives," Shamaal said.
These kind of IED's can be made from domestic and can utilize everyday materials. He added that MNDF has been working to control the import and use of such material, he said.
In addition to Shamaal, Defence Minister Mariya Ahmed Did also joined this press conference.
This afternoon Maldives Police Service in a press conference confirmed that four individuals were flagged for “suspicious behavior” from the crime scene. So far no arrests have been made.
Nasheed sustained life threatening injuries and is being treated at ADK Hospital. He has undergone several surgeries according to the hospital and is recovering but still in critical condition.
Three other people were injured in this attack, in addition to Nasheed. They were given medical treatment and released Friday itself.
Shamaal said reaction time by Nadheed’s personal guards were good, and upon review, MNDF were satisfied with how they acted after explosion.
Nasheed left home to attend an event on another island at 2025hrs. The IED attached to a motorcycle near his car exploded around 2027hrs, Shamaal said.
“The attack on Mohamed Nasheed was very dangerous, very strong. President Nasheed fell down immediately,” Shamaal said.
The explosion came from his left side and Nasheed could not get in the car. His personal security guards were also attacked on the left side, he said. Nasheed was taken to ADK Hospital by 2035hrs in his security detail’s car.
“We are satisfied with the reaction protocol,” Shamal said.
The injured guards kept talking to Nasheed even as they transported him. He further stated their intelligence has always known that Nasheed was one of the most high risk individuals in Maldives and his security was always well maintained.
“We are always taking precautionary measures. Close protection team has been increased. We send teams in advance and check any areas one could hide an explosive,” Shamaal said on Nasheed’s security detail.
He further added they had sent an advance team to the port since Nasheed was to leave Male’ on Thursday. An additional team was sent to the island ahead of his arrival as well.
“We have established a way to monitor his residence,” Shamaal said.
The attack has been classified as a terrorist attack. A team from Australian Federal Police will be arriving Saturday to aid in further investigating the case.