Maldives ex-leaders' allies riot through streets

HUSSAIN SINAN KRISHAN FRANCIS Associated Press Published:

MALE, Maldives (AP) -- Supporters of former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed rioted through the streets of the capital Wednesday, throwing petrol bombs at police and demanding he be reinstated.

The chaos erupted after Nasheed's successor, President Mohammed Waheed Hassan, appealed for a government of national unity to end the political turmoil that has wracked the country for months.

Nasheed said his resignation Tuesday was a coup and that he was ousted from office at gunpoint.

He demanded the resignation of Hassan, who was his vice president, and promised to fight to get back his job.

"We will come to power again," Nasheed told 2,000 supporters. "We will never step back. I will not accept this coup and will bring justice to the Maldivians."

He then led a street demonstration. Police responded by firing tear gas and arresting two parliamentarians from Nasheed's party.

Nasheed's supporters began rioting, throwing fire bombs and vandalizing a private TV station that had been critical of Nasheed's government.