Maldives blast wounds 12 tourists

Sept 29, 2007 (AFP) – A home-made bomb ripped through a crowded park in the Maldivian capital Male Saturday, wounding 12 foreign nationals, tourism minister Mahamood Shougee told AFP. Since then, Britain had been helping the government and opposition groups sink their differences and work towards democratic reforms. Two Britons, two Japanese and eight Chinese were wounded in the blast, in an area popular with holiday-makers, Shougee said.

“Only two Britons suffered extensive burns while the others had minor injuries,” he told AFP by telephone, adding that the victims were in a stable condition.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the unprecedented attack on tourists in the Indian Ocean archipelago, which is south Asia’s top luxury destination.

“We saw a lot of blood and some of the shrapnel from the bomb,” a Maldivian journalist who was at the scene said by telephone.

Shougee said the crude device went off while tourists were visiting the popular spot in the tiny one-square-mile (2.5-square-kilometre) Male, the most populated coral island with more than 70,000 inhabitants.

“Police have begun investigations and in the meantime the government as w