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Long-missing Maldivian journalist killed by former al-Qaeda affiliate, finds inquiry commission

ANI | Updated: Sep 02, 2019 04:40 IST

Male [Maldives], Sep 2 (ANI): A Maldivian journalist reported missing since 2014 has been killed by former al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra Front, a government-appointed commission of inquiry said on Sunday, thereby publicly acknowledging the group's presence in the Island country for the first time.
As per the findings of the commission, Ahmed Rilwan Abdulla, a journalist who worked for a Maldives news website was abducted at knifepoint and taken to a boat out at sea where he was murdered, reported Al Jazeera.
Speaking to reporters here, President of the commission Husnu Suood said that the nine-month investigation has further found that the then-President of the country Abdulla Yameen and his deputy, Ahmed Adeeb, may have obstructed the police investigation into the journalist's disappearance.
Abdulla's disappearance in 2014 had come during the alleged brutal crackdown on media outlets in the country under Yameen's regime. Many believe that the journalist's disappearance was state-sponsored. A 2016 documentary by Al Jazeera featured a message apparently sent by Yameen to the Maldives' former home minister telling him not to worry about Abdulla's disappearance, a 2018 New York Times report pointed out.
The inquiry commission was set up by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, who assumed office last year with the promise to fight corruption and free politicians jailed under his predecessor Yameen.
Officials in the Maldives had previously denied the existence of hardline Islamic groups in the Sunni Muslim state. (ANI)