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World Briefing / Madagascar

Soldiers fire on protesters

February 08, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Soldiers opened fire on anti-government protesters near the presidential palace in Madagascar's capital, and radio stations reported about 30 people were killed in a dramatic escalation of a confrontation between the established order and a young politician determined to shake up the country.

The president, Marc Ravalomanana, appeared on state television to say the loss of life was difficult, and to place the blame on his rival, Andry Rajoelina. He did not say how many had been killed or hurt.

There has been no official confirmation of the deaths, which were reported by both state-run and independent radio.

The protest was one in a series called by Rajoelina, whose campaign sparked deadly violence last month.

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