November 15, 2017 / 3:57 PM / a month ago

Maldives investigation alleges two suspects were planning suicide attack in capital

MALE (Reuters) - Two Maldivians suspected of having links to Islamic State (IS)militants were planning to carry out a suicide attack in the country’s capital, government officials said on Wednesday.

The two, in their 20s, have been in detention since September but officials are now asking for them to be charged in criminal court.

“The police investigation found out that they are affiliated with IS and they had planned to carry out an attack in Male,” Adam Thaufeeq, a spokesman at the Prosecutor General’s office told Reuters.

He declined to elaborate on specific location or the time of the planned attack.

Male City, a two square mile island with a population of 150,000, is one of the most densely populated cities in the world.

Maldives authorities made several arrests in September, after the United Kingdom updated its Maldives travel advisory, saying militants were “very likely” to carry out an attack in the country.

Officials have also told Reuters that the authorities detained two Maldivians in Turkey en route to Syria to join IS fighters in September.

Significant numbers of radicalised Maldives youths have enlisted to fight for Islamic State in the Middle East and President Abdulla Yameen’s government has brought some new laws to arrest Maldivians joining the group.

Reporting by Mohamed Junayd in Male; Writing by Shihar Aneez Editing by Jeremy Gaunt.

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