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Maldives ex-president appeals for help

(Xinhua)

08:16, February 10, 2012

NEW DELHI, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- Former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed appeared on an Indian TV on Thursday, saying he was toppled by a small group of police officers and wanted the international community to help his country restore democracy.

The first democratically elected former president talked to the local TV channel Times Now from an undisclosed place after being reportedly missing for about one day.

Nasheed said that he now feared for his life and the safety of his family, who he said had fled to Sri Lanka.

"They want to arrest me and the situation is turning worse," he said.

He said the police had arrested some 250 supporters of his Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) so far and appealed to his supporters to remain calm.

Maldivian police said on Thursday that they had received a court order to arrest Nasheed.

Police spokesman Abdul Mannan Yoosuf told Xinhua that Nasheed would be arrested along with former defense minister. "We have obtained an order from the Criminal Court to arrest former president," said Yoosuf. "On security reasons, we can not reveal on what charges the arrest is to be made," he added.

The arrest warrant was issued following a string of arson attacks on police stations and court houses by supporters of MDP on Wednesday.

Nasheed resigned on Tuesday amid protests over detention of a top judge and was replaced by vice president Mohamed Waheed.

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