Saturday, September 29, 2007

Tourists Injured In Bomb Blast

Two Britons are among 12 tourists injured in a bomb blast in the Maldives.

Both Britons are receiving treatment, but have been described as "stable and out of danger".

The Foreign Office said the blast, which occurred in the capital Male, was caused by a homemade device.

Two Japanese and eight Chinese tourists were also injured, all of whom have been treated for minor injuries and discharged from hospital.

No claim of responsibility for the attack was made.

Government Spokesman Hussain Sharif told Sky News: "Never in the history of the Maldives has anything like this happened before."

Mr Sharif confirmed the incident took place near the city's main mosque at an entrance to the Sultan Park, a regular stop-off for tour groups.

"We are taking this very seriously because tourism is our life blood," he said.

Local media said the explosion was triggered by a homemade device using a mobile phone and washing machine motor attached to a gas cylinder.

A witness said he saw nails scattered in the park before the area was cleared by security personnel.

The spokesman said the park was crowded at the time of the blast, including many locals breaking their fast during the holy Islamic month of Ramadan.

Police have launched an investigation and the government will seek help from Interpol, the United States and India.

More than 500,000 tourists visited the idyllic holiday islands last year.

Source: Sky News

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