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More People Killed in<br>Madagascar's Continuing<br>Violence - 2002-03-15

Security forces have shot dead several people in Madagascar's port city of Toamasina as the political unrest in the island nation continues.

There are conflicting reports about the identities of those killed. Some reports have said the people were looting shops and other reports have said they were opposition supporters erecting barricades.

Toamasina is a stronghold of beleaguered President Didier Ratsiraka, whose rule is being challenged by opposition leader and self-declared president Marc Ravalomanana.

Earlier this week, at least two people died in a clash between pro-government and opposition supporters in Toamasina.

Mr. Ravalomanana claims he won December presidential elections outright and he is refusing to take part in a run-off against President Ratsiraka. Ravalomanana supporters have taken over government ministries in the capital, Antananarivo.