A 24-year-old man who was stabbed inside the Terminal Café in Malé died of head injuries Saturday night while undergoing treatment at the ADK hospital.
Nadheem Abdul Rahman, from the northern island of Thakandhoo in Haa Alif atoll, was stabbed in the head around 6:30 pm Thursday evening by a group of masked men who entered the café.
A family member told local media that Nadheem sustained severe head injuries and was breathing through a ventilator. No arrests have been so far.
Nadheem is the third murder victim in 2017.
The fatal stabbing came amid a spike in violent crimes in the capital city where a young man was hospitalised with minor injuries after a mugging late Saturday night.
The police came under fire after three people were stabbed on Tuesday afternoon and photos of a man near the Supreme Court with blood seeping from a back wound began circulating on social media. The incident occurred while scores of police officers were active outside the nearby criminal court as opposition supporters gathered for the hearings of two lawmakers.
On Wednesday, the police alleged that “some groups are deliberately trying to disrupt the peace in Malé and the atolls” and announced that special measures would be taken to maintain public order and safety in the capital.
Some 13 suspects were arrested over the weekend after the police launched a special operation to curb gang violence.
On Thursday, six suspects were arrested in connection with a violent assault on July 19. According to the police, an 18-year-old was stabbed near the Alcyon bakery and underwent treatment for eight stab wounds before being discharged from the hospital.
The police said enough evidence has been gathered to convict the six suspects, who were identified as Munaz Mohamed, 21, Sirufan Ibrahim, 20, Moosa Ibrahim, 21, Ibrahim Areen Ahmed, 20, Abubakuru Fariu, 20 and a 17-year-old minor.
A man was also stabbed outside the Vilimalé ferry terminal around 08:35 pm on July 19, half an hour before the stabbing near Alcyon bakery the same night.
A 22-year-old man was meanwhile stabbed near the Nalahiya building on July 22.
On July 6, a young man sustained head injuries after a fight between rival gangs near the Henveiru park. According to media reports, gang members were armed with iron rods and wooden planks.
According to police statistics, 449 cases of assault have so far been reported this year. Some 776 cases of assault were reported in 2016, down from 932 in 2015.
In late April, police apprehended four suspects – including one minor – in connection to two separate gang assaults in capital Malé.
An 18-year-old man was also stabbed in Malé amid a spike in violent assaults last November. He recovered after undergoing surgery for severe head injuries.
The police at the time arrested 20 suspects and impounded three motorbikes. The 20 young men included suspects in recent assaults as well as repeat offenders taken into custody to prevent further violence, the police said.
The assaults came after a period of calm after a spike in gang violence last June saw two 14-year-old boys killed in a fight between rival groups. They were the youngest victims of gang violence in the Maldives.
In the wake of the violence in June, suspected gang members were also monitored through electronic tags, a measure introduced in the new anti-terrorism law.