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Maldives bomb wounds 12 tourists

A homemade bomb exploded Saturday outside a bustling city park in the Maldives, wounding at least 12 people, a government official said.
Officials said they did not know who was behind the attack that hit the crowded park in the capital, Male, in the Indian Ocean archipelago. United Press International said the blast occurred outside the main mosque in this “popular and peaceful tourist destination.?
Reports The Associated Press: ‘“The Maldives has never had something like this before. We are taking this very seriously because tourism is our life blood,? government spokesman Mohamed Shareef said.?
The injured included eight Chinese, two Britons and two Japanese, all with burns, said Shareef.
He said it was still not known whether the bomb targeted the tourism industry or whether an Islamic Jihadist organization was involved.
According to The Associated Press, Western diplomats have voiced concern about the potential for violence in this Sunni Muslim country, where half the population is under 18 and with few job prospects. Some have embraced a conservative strain of Islam that had been almost unheard of on the islands just a few years ago.
The wealthiest and most orderly country in south Asia, the Maldives has a population of about 350,000 and attracts about 600,000 tourists each year, with tourism accounting for one-third of its economy, said The Associated Press.

The Associated Press:

United Press International: