Riots fill the streets in Maldives after president leaves office
MALE, Maldives (AP) — The turmoil continues in the Maldives, an Indian Ocean island nation.
Supporters of the country's former president have been rioting in the streets of the capital today, and they have seized some remote police stations. They're demanding that he be reinstated.
Allies say the former leader, Mohamed Nasheed, and other top party officials were beaten by police amid the street chaos. He was the nation's first democratically-elected president, and he resigned yesterday after police joined the months of street protests against his rule.
Nasheed says he was forced to resign at gunpoint by the armed forces. He promised to fight to return to office.
The country's new president is denying that there was any coup or plot to oust Nasheed. Mohammed Waheed Hassan is calling for a unity coalition to be formed to help the country recover.
GRAPHICSBANK 1128092: A Maldives police officer, in blue, embraces a soldier who joins a protest in Male, Maldives, graphic element on gray (7 Feb 2012)
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GRAPHICSBANK 1128088: A Maldives soldier fires a rubber bullet towards police during a clash in Male, Maldives, graphic element on gray (7 Feb 2012)
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APPHOTO DEL189: A Maldivian army soldier, left, and policeman take cover as a supporter of Mohamed Nasheed, who resigned Tuesday from his post as Maldivian President, hurls back a tear gas canister thrown during a protest in Male, Maldives, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. Supporters of Nasheed rioted through the streets Wednesday demanding he be reinstated as the country's new leader appealed for unity to end the months of political turmoil roiling this Indian Ocean island nation. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena ) (8 Feb 2012)
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APPHOTO DELX131: Mohamed Nasheed, center, who resigned Tuesday from his post as Maldivian President, stands along with his supporters after police fired teargas shells at them during a rally in Male, Maldives, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. Nasheed, the nation's first democratically elected president, said he had been forced to resign at gunpoint Tuesday in what he termed a coup. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena) (8 Feb 2012)
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