Police ‘kill many’ in Madagascar

07Feb09

madagascar-police-smallAt least 23 people have been killed in Madagascar after police opened fire on an opposition demonstration in the island nation’s capital, reports say. Some reports suggest that as many as 30 people may have been killed.

There have been repeated protests against the dismissal of Antananarivo Mayor Andry Rajoelina, who is engaged in a power struggle with the president. The sacked mayor accuses President Marc Ravalomanana of misspending public money and being a dictator.

“Up to now, 25 are dead,” an unnamed senior police officer at the scene was quoted by Reuters as saying. The fire brigade said at least 23 people had been killed, AFP news agency said, while local media reported that 30 people were killed.

Demonstrators had been marching towards President Ravalomanana’s compound when riot police opened fire. Earlier, during a rally attended by 20,000 people, the former mayor’s supporters had declared him head of a “transition higher authority”.

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