Maldive Islands Heading Them Off at the Atoll

Indian troops repel an invasion force of foreign mercenaries

The prospect of a military invasion of the Republic of Maldives would seem to be almost as remote as the Indian Ocean archipelago itself. A collection of some 1,200 coral islands that together make up only 115 sq. mi. of land, the country lies several hundred miles southwest of India and Sri Lanka. Its 195,000 citizens, most of them Sunni Muslims, earn their living largely from fishing and tourism. Possession of guns is outlawed, except for the fewer than 2,000 lightly armed members of the National Security Service, and violence is virtually unknown. Yet last week the capital island of Male...

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