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Maldivian police arrest ex-president Nasheed

Published on Oct 8, 2012 1:33 PM
In this file photograph taken on Feb 9, 2012, former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed gestures during a party meeting in Male. Maldivian police on Monday arrested the country's first democratically-elected president Mohamed Nasheed, a week after he failed to turn up for the start of a trial for abuse of power, his party said. -- PHOTO: AFP

COLOMBO (REUTERS) - Maldives police arrested and detained the country's first democratically-elected president Mohamed Nasheed on Monday for ignoring a court summons and a travel ban, moves that could trigger further protests by supporters in the Indian Ocean island nation.

Mr Nasheed was removed from office in contested circumstances in February and his supporters have frequently taken to the streets since, leading to clashes with security forces in Male, the capital of a country best known for its luxury resorts.

"President Nasheed grabbed from protesting supporters, arrested and being taken away from Fares-Mathoda," his Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) spokesman Hamid Abdul Ghafoor tweeted from the remote atoll, about 440 km away from Male.

Police spokesman Hassan Haneef said on Monday: "Nasheed is in police custody in order to be produced before courts on Tuesday."

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