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Live ammunition training suspended after stray bullet injured tourist

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The Maldives National Defence Force has suspended live fire training at Kaafu atoll Girifushi island after a stray bullet wounded a tourist on a safari. 

A bullet fired during a live fire training exercise ricocheted and grazed the 41-year old German national’s neck but he was left otherwise unharmed. “Preliminary findings reveal that the boat was travelling beyond the standard range for small arms fire, within accepted safe distance and not directly in the line of fire and the bullet was a freak accidental ricochet,” the MNDF said

The tourist was first treated at a nearby island but was later transferred to the private Tree Top hospital in Hulhumalé. 

Two men caught smuggling drugs

Customs officers at the Velana International Airport stopped two men aged 23 and 24 who arrived from Bangalore, India with 2.1kg of hashish oil on Saturday.

The confiscated drugs and the suspects were handed over to the police. The street value of the drugs was estimated at US$37,000, customs said. 

Public health fund launched after seven years

Health Minister Abdulla Ameen launched the public health fund on Wednesday, seven years after it was mandated in the Public Health Act of 2012. 

The fund was launched at a national conference held at the Paradise Island Resort. It will be used to raise awareness and prevent the spread of contagious diseases. According to the public health law, fines, revenue from public health service fees, income from training programmes, a portion of revenue from tobacco tariffs and funds allocated for public health in the annual budget approved by parliament should be deposited to the fund.

“I call on those who profit off our country’s beauty and natural resources to donate to the public health fund,” Health Minister Ameen said in his remarks at the launching ceremony. 

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