Maldives' first democratically elected president and current Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed was deeply injured in a blast and remains in the hospital.

Maldivian police officers secure the area following a blast in Male, Maldives, May 6, 2021.
Maldivian police officers secure the area following a blast in Male, Maldives, May 6, 2021. (Mohamed Sharuhaan / AP)

Former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed is conscious after life-saving surgery, his family said, as police made two arrests in connection with a blast they said was being treated as a terror attack.

Nasheed, the president of the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party and the current parliament speaker, was critically injured after a bomb exploded as he left his family home in the capital Male on Thursday.

Police on Saturday said they had made two arrests in connection with the blast, without giving further details.

"I'm good," Nasheed said after coming off life support, according to a tweet by his sister Nashida Sattar.

His brother, Ibrahim Nashid, said doctors were happy with Nasheed's recovery.

"He is out of life support and breathing on his own," he said in a tweet. "Managed to exchange a few words. Promised to come back stronger. I believe him."

READ MORE: Maldives ex-president Nasheed 'critical' after assassination attempt

IED used in attack

The 53-year-old, who remains the Indian Ocean country's number two leader, is recovering from 16 hours of surgery to remove shrapnel from his lungs, liver, chest, abdomen and limbs after the attack on Thursday night.

In its first report on the attempted assassination, the Maldivian National Defence Force (MNDF) said a homemade bomb was used.

"The improvised explosive device was triggered using a remote control," an MNDF official told reporters in the capital Male.

The Maldives is expecting Australian Federal Police officers to join the investigation on Saturday in addition to two experts from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.

On Thursday, Nasheed was walking to his car when the bomb rigged to a parked motorcycle went off, injuring him and two others.

There has been no claim of responsibility, but his Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) officials alleged political interests may have been involved.

Nasheed had been vocal on the need to bring to justice some 72 suspects in a $90 million theft case dating from the tenure of former strongman president Abdulla Yameen.

Nasheed's legacy

Nasheed is a democracy pioneer in the Maldives who ended decades of one-party rule in the archipelago and became its first democratically elected president in 2008.

He is also known internationally as a champion for battling climate change and rising sea levels that he says threaten to submerge the nation of 1,192 tiny coral islands.

Nasheed was barred from contesting a 2018 presidential election because of a terrorism conviction after he was toppled in a military-backed coup in February 2012.

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has declared the conviction politically motivated.

He returned from exile in Britain, however, and his party won legislative elections in 2019 and he is now parliament speaker, the country's second most powerful post.

Source: AFP