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A 6-hour surgery to remove the shrapnel from the blast. Two people were arrested in an assassination attempt on the former president of the Maldives

Maldives police have arrested two people in connection with the assassination attempt on former President Mohamed Nasheed, who was released from intensive care, officials and relatives announced Saturday.


The archipelago, which is a luxury tourist destination, had requested international assistance to investigate the Thursday bombing, which targeted the anthem of the current parliament speaker and was the first democratically elected head of state.


Police said that two people were arrested, without giving details. She was looking for four suspects, who were seen at the scene while Nasheed got into his car.


A team of Australian police and two members of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime are supposed to join the investigators on Saturday.


The 53-year-old underwent 16-hour surgery to remove shrapnel from the blast from his lungs, liver, abdomen and limbs.


Nasheed, who holds the second highest position in the state's hierarchy of power, spoke to his family and assured them that he felt "a great improvement", as his sister Nasheedah Sattar said.


His brother Ibrahim Nasheed said that "the doctors are very happy with the progress," explaining that his brother "is no longer dependent on ventilators and is breathing on his own, and I was able to exchange a few words with him."


In its first report on the assassination attempt, the army said that a homemade bomb had been used. "The explosive device was detonated with a remote control device," an army official told reporters in the capital, Male.


The bomb was attached to a motorcycle parked near Nasheed's car.