Police have arrested 22 people including four children under the age of 18 in Laamu Gan, after they were attacked during a wave of gang violence.
Police said the attacks occurred on Saturday morning at 4:00am, after the gang, believed to be from Mathimaradhu, “appeared suddenly from a forest.”
Police alleged gang members broke the glass windows of a shop in the industrial area of Mathimaradhu, burnt down a hut in Mulurimagu [district] and broke the windows of two houses. When they tried to stop the gang members, police claim they they were attacked and a police vehicle damaged.
Two policemen were seriously injured in the attack, including one suffered a broken arm after he was hit by a metal tube and another who was struck in the arm by a piece of wood with nails in it.
Police have recovered some of the weapons used in the attack from a house in Mathimaradhu, including swords, knives, metal pipes and blocks.
Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam said the injured two police officers have been brought to Male’ and admitted in Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH).
He said the police were investigating the case but refused to give more information.
Island Chief of Gan office Abdul Rahman said that the attack on Saturday night was a gang war between the two districts Mathimaradhu and Mukuri Magu that had been going on for a long time, “for at least three months.”
”Several times many of them have been injured,” Rahman said, ”but this is the first time they attacked the police and damaged property.”
He said most of the gang members were under the age of eighteen.
”We do not know why they have been fighting,” he said. ”We had not received any reports on these fights.”
He said there was a distance of 30 minutes between the two districts on foot.