Police in southern Madagascar opened fire Thursday as a large group young people rioted and threatened to loot businesses.
were conflicting reports as to deaths and injuries, but Thursday's
incident followed weeks of political tension and civil strife that has
killed more than 100 people in the island nation.
opposition supporters rallied in the capital, Antananarivo, on
Wednesday, defying a call from their leader Andry Rajoelina to stay
Representatives of Rajoelina and of Madagascar's
president, Marc Ravalomanana, opened talks earlier in the week aimed at
calming the unrest.
French Secretary of State for Cooperation
Alain Joyandet, who is trying to mediate between the factions, told
reporters Thursday that a dialogue is under way. He gave few details.
between the two sides reached new heights Saturday, when security
forces fired at protesters marching on the presidential palace, killing
at least 28 of them.
Rajoelina accuses the president of being a
dictator and has proclaimed himself Madagascar's new leader. He has
announced members of a so-called transitional authority, including a
The president says he remains in power.