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Maldives declares state of emergency ahead of anti-government rally

Maldives President Abdulla Yameen has declared a 30-day state of emergency ahead of a planned anti-government rally.

Ibrahim Muaz Ali, a spokesman for the president, said the state of emergency was declared on the recommendation of the National Security Council.

"The state of emergency was enforced in order to protect the peace and welfare of all citizens and the country," the spokesman said. "The highest priority of the Govt and its law enforcement agencies was to ensure the safety, security, independence and peace among the people."

Despite the declaration of a state of the emergency, which provides the security forces with sweeping powers to arrest suspects, no curfew will be declared, the presidential spokesman added.

The move comes after firearms and explosives were seized, and just days after a bomb was defused near the presidential palace.

The Maldives has been hit by weeks of political instability after the arrest of Vice President Ahmed Adeeb for his alleged connections to a plot to assassinate the president. Yameen was not injured when a blast hit his boat last month, though his wife was injured.

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