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Forces Loyal to Government, Renegade General Clash in Madagascar

Authorities in Madagascar say government forces and troops loyal to a renegade army general clashed at a military base, killing one soldier.

The gunbattle occurred early Saturday morning at the Ivato base in the capital, Antananarivo. Officials say the firefight pitted government soldiers against those of a dissident general (General Andrianafidisoa) who is commonly called 'General Fidy.'

Earlier, leaflets had been circulated saying the army was seizing power from the government. It is not clear who was behind the leaflet or how widely it was distributed.

The island nation in the Indian Ocean is rife with political divisions. Tensions are rising in advance of the first presidential poll since President Marc Ravalomanana came to power four years ago in a widely disputed election.

The general has been barred from running in the December third elections.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.