The mayor of the Maldives' second-largest city Addu spoke of a total law and order "breakdown" Thursday, following a night of violence that saw police stations attacked and torched.
"There's no law and order at all. It's a complete breakdown," Addu City Mayor Abdulla Sodig told AFP by phone.
Sodig said police were absent from the city streets, while troops from a nearby military base were focused on protecting Gan Airport -- a major conduit for foreign tourists travelling from the capital Male to luxury resort islands.
With 32,000 residents, Addu City is the second-largest in the Maldives after Male.