Former Maldives president treated for wounds after blast outside home

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By Mohamed Junayd and Waruna Karunatilake

MALE (Reuters) -The speaker of parliament in Maldives, former President Mohamed Nasheed, was being treated for shrapnel wounds and in stable condition after a blast outside his family home on Thursday, a spokesman for his governing Maldivian Democratic Party said.

Two close family members, who asked not to be identified due to the sensitivity of the situation, told Reuters Nasheed was talking and responsive before being treated under anaesthesia at the hospital.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, a close ally of Nasheed, said an investigation into the explosion was under way.

Images from state TV channel PSM showed security services securing the scene of the incident in the capital Male. A foreign tourist was also injured, the channel reported.

"Strongly condemn the attack on Speaker of Parliament, President Mohamed Nasheed this evening," Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid said in a tweet.

"Cowardly attacks like these have no place in our society. My thoughts and prayers are with President Nasheed and others injured in this attack, as well as their families."

Nasheed, who became Maldives' first democratically-elected president in 2008, has remained an influential figure since leaving office in 2012. He is president of the governing party and, after returning from a period in exile, has served as parliament speaker since 2019.

The archipelago has been known in the past for political unrest as well as Islamist militant violence.

In 2015, former president Abdulla Yameen escaped unharmed after an explosion on his speedboat, while a 2007 blast blamed on Islamist militants targeted foreign tourists and injured 12 people.

(Reporting by Mohamed Junayd in Male and Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo;Writing by Alasdair Pal;Editing by Andrew Cawthorne, Elaine Hardcastle, Peter Graff)