An unidentified attacker stabbed and killed a Maldivian ruling party legislator Tuesday in the first assassination of a lawmaker in the Indian Ocean archipelago, police said.
Afrasheem Ali, 46, a lawmaker from the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), was attacked on the steps of his apartment in the capital island Male early Tuesday, police spokesman Hassan Haneef told AFP.
"This is the first killing of an MP in the Maldives and we are yet to establish a motive," Haneef said, adding that investigations were underway to track down the killer.
The murder came amid political tensions in the nation of 330,000 Sunni Muslims since president Mohamed Nasheed was toppled in what he called a coup backed by Islamic extremists and the military in February.
A court in the Maldives on Monday postponed Nasheed's trial on charges of abuse of power dating back to his time in office after he defied a summons to appear in court.
Nasheed's opposition Maldivian Democratic Party condemned Ali's killing while government officials said Ali would receive a state funeral on Tuesday.