Ex-Maldives president flown to Germany after assassination bid

Mali, Maldives:  Former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed, who was seriously wounded in an assassination attempt, was flown to Germany Thursday for treatment, officials said.

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The 53-year-old democracy pioneer and climate activist was the target of a remote-controlled bomb rigged to a motorbike one week ago in the capital, Male.

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He underwent 16 hours of surgery to remove shrapnel from his liver, lungs and abdomen. The hospital discharged him Thursday, clearing the way for a medical evacuation to Germany.

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An ambulance surrounded by heavy security took Nasheed to the airport where a special flight was waiting.

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Hospital employees posted a photo of Nasheed on social media in a blue medical jacket posing with four staff members.

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Nasheed thanked the staff in his first Twitter comment since the May 6 attack.

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“A special thanks to the health sector of the Maldives,” Nasheed said. “By the grace of Allah, I remain committed to delivering democratic good governance for the people.”

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Police have arrested three men in connection with the attack, which they said was linked to extremism.

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There has been no claim of responsibility but Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party has said religious extremists and political interests could be involved.

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The Indian Ocean archipelago of 340,000 people is majority Muslim and has had past brushes with extremism in the past.

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In October 2019 police arrested a suspected Daesh recruiter accused of sending dozens of Maldivians to Syria.

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Nasheed ended decades of one-party rule in the Maldives and became its first democratically elected president in 2008, only to be toppled in a coup in 2012.

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He is known internationally for championing the fight against climate change and rising sea levels that threaten the nation of 1,192 coral islands.

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