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Three tourists stabbed in Maldives by suspected IS sympathisers

A video claimed the attack was carried out by a group sympathetic to IS [TASS/Getty]

Date of publication: 6 February, 2020

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Three people have been stabbed in the Maldives in an attack claimed by IS sympathisers.

Maldives police arrested three suspected Islamic State group sympathisers onThursday over the stabbing of three foreigners in the upmarket tourist destination.

Two Chinese men and an Australian were in a stable condition after being stabbed Tuesday, just two months after security officials warned of the presence of violent radicals inspired by IS.

Authorities said were investigating a video released on social media claiming the attack had been carried out by militants associated with the jihadi group.

"The Maldives police service has arrested three suspects under a court warrant in relation to the stabbing of three foreign nationals," police said in a statement.

They were not identified.

Late last year, the Maldives arrested a local man described by the US as a recruiter for IS in Syria and Afghanistan.

He was also suspected of being involved in a crude bomb attack in the capital Male in September 2007 which injured a dozen tourists.

In June last year, the nation of 340,000 Sunni Muslims called for international help to rehabilitate up to 160 of its nationals thought to be held in Syrian detention camps.

Maldives parliamentary Speaker Mohamed Nasheed has said that the Maldives was keeping a close watch on any attempt to radicalise its population, which practises a liberal form of Islam and relies heavily on luxury tourism.

More people joined IS from the Maldives than almost any other country per capita, The Guardian reported.

"There are close to 1,400 Maldivians with us today across the country who have fallen into extremist ideology to the point where they would not hesitate to take the life of the person next to them," the country's commissioner of police, Mohamed Hameed, said in December.

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