Maldives seek foreign help as bomb explosion threatens tourism

Sept 29, 2007 (LBO) – Police in the Indian Ocean Maldives Islands have sought foreign help to probe a blast that injured 12 tourists Saturday, as authorities feared a hit on the country’s top revenue earning industry, reports said. The incident had shattered the islands’ image as a tranquil tourist destination, which had helped the country’s tourist industry command premium prices over neighbhours like Sri Lanka.

However the larger islands have seen inhabitants clashing with police in pro-democracy protests in recent years.

In 1998 Male also saw a failed coup mounted by dissidents with the help of mercenaries from Sri Lanka.

However holiday resorts themselves are in isolated islands scattered throughout the archipelago, and tourists usually come to the capital for sight seeing.

The police have contacted foreign counterparts in the course of investigating the blast which has injured 12 tourists, Minivan News reported.

It is probably guidance more than anything else, because they have no precedent to go by in this country, the web news service quoted the government’s chief spokesman Mohanmed Hussein Shareef as saying.

Shareef said it was too early to comment on possible suspects but prom