MNDF deny reports of injured suspect in Raajje TV arson attack being treated at military hospital

The Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) has issued a statement denying reports spreading across social media that a suspect injured in the arson attack on opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) aligned TV station Raajje TV was being treated at the MNDF military hospital.

On October 7, a group of masked men armed with machetes, iron rods and petrol stabbed a security guard, forced open a reinforced door and set fire to the station, destroying its offices and control room as well as cameras, computer systems, broadcasting and transmission equipment.

CCTV footage of the attack showed the masked individual lighting the blaze briefly engulfed in flame, shortly before a fireball blew the door off its hinges.

The MNDF statement said the military hospital treated three firemen who were injured while trying to control the blaze.

”Two of the firemen were treated for burn injuries they received to the skin area near their ear, due to strong heat from the fire,” the MNDF statement said. ”The third fireman was treated for the injuries he received from the strong heat and smoke.”

The MNDF said the third fireman was admitted to Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) after he had breathing problems.

The MNDF also said it was very uncivilised to spread such news without clarification. The statement did not state to whom it was referring to.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has condemned the arson attack and criticised the Maldives Police Services’ failure to defend the station despite repeated requests for police protection.

“This criminal act is a direct blow to freedom of information and we deplore the attitude of the police, who failed to do what was necessary to prevent the attack although the head of TV station requested protection a few hours before it took place,” RSF said in a statement on Monday.

Meanwhile, Raajje TV quoted former president Mohamed Nasheed as alleging that Tourism Minister Ahmed Adheeb “had a hand” in the arson attack on the station, and called on investigation authorities to obtain a court warrant to gain access to the former’s text messages and phone calls.

Adheeb dismissed the allegations as false.

”I won’t be surprised even if he made bigger allegations,” he said. ”Nasheed is always lying like that.”

Adheeb accused Nasheed of working against him due to his condemnation of the MDP’s calls for a tourism boycott.

Eyewitness to Monday’s attack told Minivan News that the attackers arrived on motorbikes.

”First one motorbike with two persons came, they were covering their faces with masks and one of them were holding an iron bar. We first thought they were getting ready to attack a person but the guy holding the iron bar smashed the glass of the building and the other bikes arrived just as the guy smashed the glass,” said a witness.

”There were three wave motorbikes and one PCX motorbike. The other guys were wearing masks when they arrived, they looked very calm when they entered the place and we did not see what happened inside but we noticed that they were in a rush when they came out of the building,” he said. ”They all left the area on the bikes really fast.”

According to the eyewitness, he saw the bikes coming out to Boduthakurufaanu Magu from Kurangi Goalhi and when they left they went straight towards Henveiru from Boduthakurufaanu Magu.

Speaking at the parliament’s government oversight committee, Raajje TV CEO Akram Kamaluddeen alleged to MPs that the arson attack on Raajje TV was a state organised crime.

Akram Kamaluddeen and Deputy CEO of Raajje TV Abdulla Yameen did not respond to Minivan News at time of press.

The security guard who was taken hostage and stabbed told local press that the assailants arrived 10 minutes after the staff of Raajje TV had left the station.

The Bangladeshi national guard told the papers that he was inside the building when the assailants came and they asked him to lead them to the floor Raajje TV was on, but when he refused they tied his hand and took him upstairs with them.

He told the papers that he was stabbed and attacked inside the control room of the Raajje TV station, and that after attacking him they left him inside the burning building with his hands tied.

According to the security guard he was able to escape because the group left the door open. He said he came outside and called his supervisor, before fainting and being admitted to IGMH.

CCTV footage of the attack:


9 thoughts on “MNDF deny reports of injured suspect in Raajje TV arson attack being treated at military hospital”

  1. Nasheed and his party will do anything to defame NSS and Police and Islamic scholars.

    These exercises are done systematically .

  2. Very unprofefessional and one-sided article from Minivannews as usual. Social media also talks about the MDP involvement in the arson attack - it is rumoured that the arson attack was planned and conducted by MDP activists. Minivannews should approach MDP to respond to these allegations that is going on the social media.

  3. The police commissioner should resign immediately. He failed to protect the station despite Rajje TV repeatedly asking for it and relaying the threats they were receiving.

    And here is one more reason to vote for Nasheed, under his government the opposition TV channel that was spreading hatred and false stories about him and his government was also given protection.

    Waheed is an utter failure in governing this country.

  4. If it was MDP behind this, why did the police ignore requests for protection and delay their response to the fire? Wouldn't it make sense for them to stop the attack if they weren't involved?

  5. Adheeb will do anything for money. He has no morals whatsoever and obviously stand to benefit from RaajeTV being annihilated. Of course the authorities won't investigate him, after all that would be the end of not just Adheeb but Yamin too.

  6. As I've said before:

    (1) The criminals were well trained in handling highly flammable liquids and incendiary. Where did they get that training from?

    (2) A single minute mistake handling petrol and incendiary could send you to heaven (or hell in this case). But the criminals were very sure of themselves. They looked very comfortable doing what they did as if it was just part of their "job".

    (2) If they were so comfortable with inflammables and incendiary, what else have they been trained to do? Explosives perhaps, or worse?

    (3) It takes organisation and funds to provide training like this. There definitely are groups that are being trained in lethal acts. Surely, someone must have information about this, or else it shouldn't be too difficult to find out.

  7. Ahmed Bin Addu Bin Suvadheeb on Wed, 9th Oct 2013 7:37 PM

    They poured what seemed to be petrol on electronic equipment. A spark from any of the appliances could have ended their miserable existence. The guy who lit the fire contributed his eyebrows and front hair to the cause.

    They didn't seem too concerned with the security cameras.

    Why do you say they were trained?

  8. Excellent camera coverage. These persons would be be easy to catch by any police force anywhere in the World.
    A test for the integrety Maldives police!
    Did the Police catch the 7th February 2012 destroyers of the National Museum collection yet? - also an easy catch for any decent police force..


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