Police identify suspects in blogger's murder, launch manhunt

Police on Tuesday identified the suspects involved in the brutal stabbing murder of renowned local blogger Yameen Rasheed through a series of CCTV footage and officially announced a manhunt.

The 29-year-old social media activist was found with severe stab injuries at around 3am Sunday, and was rushed to the state-run Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) where he was pronounced dead shortly after.

During an impromptu press conference on Tuesday, assistant police chief Abdulla Nawaz said the suspect believed to have murdered Yameen had been caught on CCTV camera.

"Police had also gathered physical evidence from the crime scene," Nawaz added.

According to Nawaz, police are still reviewing more CCTV footage, questioning suspects and pursuing leads.

Police had also showed captured images from the video footage which shows a man in the stairwell where Yameen was found. The suspect was also captured on another CCTV camera getting on a mopad after exiting the building. Nawaz said investigators were in the process of further enhancing the images which he said would help authorities in the hunt for the suspects.

He also said police have also identified several persons of interest in the case urging the public and media's help in locating the suspects identified in the footage.

According to a family member of Yameen, he was stabbed over 16 times in the neck, chest and also his face.

Yameen had been very vocal about receiving death threats for publishing his strong views on politics and religious extremism through his political-satire blog ‘The Daily Panic’. He had even claimed on social media that he reported these threats to the police, but that it fell on deaf ears. However, the police claim that they did investigate the threats and gave regular updates to Yameen.

The police confirmed that the attack on Yameen, who is a native of the southernmost Atoll Addu’s Feydhoo was premeditated, though the motive remains unclear.