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Clashes in Maldives as court orders release of political prisoners

Hundreds of people have gathered in the capital Male amid political unrest in the the archipelago.

Two people have been arrested in clashes between Maldives police and opposition supporters who are urging the government to obey a supreme court order to release nine political prisoners.

Hundreds of people gathered in Male, the capital, a day after the court decided that the group of dissidents’ guilty verdicts had been influenced by politics. It ordered new trials for all nine.

A scuffle erupted when police asked the protesters to stay clear of a road. Officers used batons and pepper spray to disperse the protesters.

Earlier, the government sacked the country’s police chief after his department announced it would uphold the supreme court verdict.

An archipelago known for its luxury tourist resorts, the Maldives became a multi-party democracy 10 years ago.

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