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Madagascar Police Arrest Alleged Mutineer


Army soldiers take cover behind their vehicles during a shootout between rival Madagascan security forces in the streets of the capital Antananarivo, 20 May 2010

Army soldiers take cover behind their vehicles during a shootout between rival Madagascan security forces in the streets of the capital Antananarivo, 20 May 2010

Madagascar police said Saturday they have detained the leader of this week's failed mutiny attempt of the government.

The police say Colonel Raymond Andrianjafy is being held in custody in connection with Thursday's battle between security forces and a dissident group of military police.

The mutineers were said to be angry at alleged abuses by their superiors.

Military officials say at least two soldiers were killed and several civilians wounded in the violence in the capital, Antananarivo.

Madagascar's government has accused former president Marc Ravalomanana of being behind the attempted mutiny.

The office of President Andry Rajoelina said Friday the former president was trying to create tensions within the armed forces.

Madagascar has been tense since early 2009, when President Rajoelina ousted Mr. Ravalomanana with the support of the military.

The African Union has refused to recognize Mr. Rajoelina as president, and efforts to install a power-sharing government have failed.

Mr. Rajoelina has set presidential elections for November. He said earlier this month that he will not run so the political transition can end in what he called "a neutral manner."


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

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