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Madagascar / Unrest - 2002-04-09


One person has been killed and at least 10 others injured during clashes in Madagascar's capital, Antananarivo.

Violence erupted Monday (yesterday) when opponents of President Didier Ratsiraka ransacked the homes of several government officials. Forces loyal to the president fired at demonstrators, who were looting the home of director general of the presidency, Gerard Andrialemirvason. Looters also set several cars on fire.

The crisis stems from a dispute over last December's presidential election, which Mr. Ravalomanana says he won outright. The international community has refused to recognize the his takeover.

Madagascar has been plagued by political unrest since last December's presidential election, which Madagascar's main opposition leader Marc Ravalomanana says he won outright. In late February, he declared himself head of state and seized control of the capital.

The international community has refused to recognize the takeover. President Ratsiraka says the dispute should be settled by a run-off vote.

His supporters have erected roadblocks between Antananarivo and coastal port cities and blown up bridges leading into the capital.

On Friday, Mr. Ravalomanana said the island nation is now at war with those who oppose his claim to power.

(Reuters, AP, BBC.com, file)

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