Maldives' ex-Prez Nasheed alleges al-Qaeda assassination plot

Maldives' ex-Prez Nasheed alleges al-Qaeda assassination plot

Ousted Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed today alleged that he was in danger of being assassinated by al-Qaeda agents, prompting authorities to launch an investigation.

In a statement, Nasheed's office said that two al-Qaeda agents are currently in Male, plotting an attack on him.

The statement said the office has requested the defence ministry's intelligence to launch an investigation into the matter and to share findings with the office.

Rumours of a plot to assassinate Nasheed began circulating in Male in April as well, Haveeru newspaper reported on its website.

Nasheed's office had quoted reports from his supporters that foreign mercenaries had been hired to kill the ex-president.

The reports said a sniper rifle had been smuggled in and two foreign assassins were in the country for the assassination.

Maldives is facing political tension over twice scuttled presidential elections and doubts over fresh polls scheduled for November 9.

Nasheed, 46, who was toppled 20 months ago, had won the first round of elections on September 7 with 45 per cent of the popular vote, which should have led to a second-round run-off.

However, the country's highest court annulled those results and called fresh elections which were due to open on October 19, but police stopped that vote going ahead citing disputed procedural flaws.

If no candidate gets 50 per cent at the rescheduled polls on November 9, a runoff is due on November 16. Candidates could still scuttle the election by refusing to endorse the voter list which happened on October 19.

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