'No evidence of fire being linked to terrorism'

Maldives Police Service (MPS) has stated that they have not yet found any evidence that points to the fire that occurred on Abadhah Fehi Magu on Friday night being an act of terrorism.

During a press conference held Monday, the police revealed some details of their investigation into the fire.

While a parliamentarian has claimed that the fire was the result of a terrorism act, Head of Serious and Organized Crime Department Superintend of Police Hassan Shifau, in response to a reporter's inquiry said their findings thus far do not point to the fire being an act of terrorism.

"Our findings do not point to the incident being linked to terrorism. However, we are considering all possibilities during our investigation. We assure that we will consider it from all angles. We will investigate if the fire was an accident or if it was an act of arson", said Shifau.

While the investigation is still ongoing, Shifau said the reason for the fire still remains unidentified. The police have begun collecting and analyzing CCTV footage and other videos from the area, he added.

The forensics team of MPS began work on the site of fire immediately after the fire was put out, said Shifau. The safety of the officers working at the site has been ensured, said Shifau, adding that work on the area that was burnt the most began a day later to ensure safety.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Ismail Naveen said the investigation into the incident will be conducted swiftly, and said forensics teams will be analyzing every apartment that was destroyed in the fire.

Naveen said 21 motorcycles and 1 pickup was removed from the site, the police are working on identifying its owners and making police reports for those who require it for insurance purposes. The police are also verifying the permits issued to the warehouses, and cross checking what they are permitted to store in the warehouses, said Naveen.

Friday night's fire originated in a chemical warehouse in Henveiru ward of capital Male', and spread to three other warehouses in the area. It also destroyed several residential buildings, claiming the life of one.