Hundreds were evacuated this morning from Malé’s southwest harbor in the third bomb scare in 24 hours. Security forces said a suspicious object had been found under a fuel drum, but it turned out to be “fake.”
The first bomb scare happened at midday on Wednesday, shortly after President Abdulla Yameen declared an unprecedented state of emergency in the Maldives. The object, a bundle of wires wrapped around parts of a computer, was left inside the bonnet of a car near the power plant.
The second object, also wires wrapped around a mobile phone, was reported at Malé’s port area in the early hours of the morning.
Rey Dhanvaru Customs Furagahun MNDF in Hoadhi Fake IED pic.twitter.com/eKfxGEgYPX
— MNDF (@MNDF_Official) November 5, 2015
The home ministry said the three objects, which looked like improvised explosive devices, were left in public spaces in an attempt to incite fear.
“We will take the harshest action against those who are creating panic, and we consider such acts to be terrorism.”
Meanwhile, on Monday, the security forces evacuated hundreds from the city’s sports grounds to defuse a bomb. The device, made out of stick dynamite and wrapped up in a t-shirt, was found in a vehicle at the presidential palace, the security forces said.
No arrests have been made yet.
Last weekend, the police and military displayed a large cache of weapons found submerged on a reef, including firearms that had gone missing from the state armory.
Some weapons are still thought to be missing, the police have said.
Declaring the 30-day state of emergency yesterday, Yameen also said he had received information of imminent attacks. But the Maldives remains safe for tourists, the government has said.
The Vice President Ahmed Adeeb was impeached hours ago, on suspicion of links to an explosion on Yameen’s speedboat. The government insists the explosion was caused by a bomb targeting the president, despite the FBI saying they found no evidence of an explosive device.
Former Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim was imprisoned for 11 years in March on a charge of weapons smuggling, after the police discovered a pistol in his bedroom in a midnight raid.
Nazim maintains that he was framed by rogue police officers.