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Madagascar Forces Retake Ministries


Madagascar security forces regained control of four government ministry offices early Friday from supporters of opposition leader Andry Rajoelina.

Police officials say 50 people were arrested during the operation.

Madagascar's internal security minister, Desire Rasolofomanana, said civil servants can now return to work.

Opposition supporters took over the offices Thursday in their push to remove President Marc Ravalomanana from power.

They entered the ministry offices, including two that control security, after a standoff with police in the capital, Antananarivo, on Thursday.

About 20,000 people came out to support the opposition, which has held demonstrations in front of government buildings since Monday.

Madagascar has endured nearly a month of turmoil since Rajoelina began agitating for the ouster of Mr. Ravalomanana. Rajoelina accuses the president of being too authoritarian.

Rajoelina has declared himself the country's new leader and has vowed to take over the government.

President Ravalomanana says he remains in charge of the island nation's affairs.

More than 100 people have been killed in demonstrations since the turmoil began. That number includes 28 killed February 7, when presidential guards fired on protesters who were marching toward the presidential palace.


Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.



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