House burns to ground in Gaaf dhaal Vaadhoo

A house in Gaaf Dhaal Atoll Vaadhoo was consumed by fire last evening while its owner was out fishing.

Island Council President Mohamed Waheed told local media that all that remained of the two-room house after neighbors extinguished the fire were the walls.

The cause of the fire is yet to be determined, however police are investigating the incident.

The incident is the fifth case of possible arson to be reported in the last three weeks.

Early on the morning of December 26 a car belonging to a group of American scientists was set on fire in Addu. Locals observed that it was the first time such an event had taken place in the area, while council officials wondered whether the act was a result of rising religious tensions in the days since the December 23 protests for Islam.

Two days later, Noonu Atoll Miladhoo island council office was burned to the ground in what police suspected was an arson attack. Speaking to Minivan News at the time of the incident, Council President Hussain Ghassan said the council had received “several threats” from some people unhappy with the council, of which a majority sides with opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP).

On January 2, 2012, police arrested one suspect but did not provide details.

On the evening of January 3, a furnished but uninhabited house in Thaa Atoll Thimarafushi caught fire. Police said they suspected arson as there was evidence of an attempted break-in.

On January 4, the engine of a boat en route to Male’ from Kulhudhufushi carrying 175 passengers caught fire near Aarah in Male’ Atoll. Two passengers were injured.