Malaysia deports 5 Maldivians over alleged assassination bid

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian police said they deported five Maldives citizens on Friday, including a diplomat, over an alleged attempt to assassinate the Maldivian president.

National police Chief Khalid Abu Bakar said the diplomat is believed to have been involved in an explosion aboard the president's boat on Sept. 28 that Maldivian authorities say was an assassination attempt. He did not provide any details of the alleged involvement.

He said the diplomat and four others, including two women, were detained in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday and were deported to the Maldives on Friday.

The explosion occurred aboard President Yameen Abdul Gayoom's boat as he and his wife were returning to Male, the Maldives' capital, from the airport after a hajj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. Gayoom escaped unhurt, but his wife, an aide and a bodyguard were injured.

Maldivian Vice President Ahmed Adeeb has been arrested in connection with the blast. He has denied involvement.

If the president dies, is incapacitated or resigns, the vice president succeeds him, according to the Maldives' Constitution. Three soldiers, including a former member of Adeeb's security detail and a member of the army's bomb squad, have also been arrested.