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19 Arrested in Madagascar on Coup Allegations

Army official says military officers were among those arrested

Security forces in Madagascar have arrested 19 people accused of plotting a coup against the country's leaders. The alleged plotters planned to attack the prime minister's residence in the early hours of Monday, according to officials.

Lieutenant Colonel Rene Lilyson says military officers were among those taken into custody on Sunday.

Madagascar's armed forces have shown their dislike of the country's de facto President Andry Rajoelina, who seized power in a military-backed coup last year.

Recently, General Noel Rakotonandrasana, the armed forces minister, refused to quit his post despite being fired by Prime Minister Camille Vital. Just last week, the army asked Mr. Rajoelina for a "clear road map" to end the island nation's political crisis.

In March, the African Union imposed sanctions on Mr. Rajoelina and more than 100 supporters after he failed to honor AU-mediated power-sharing deals. The AU had mediated negotiations in Mozambique between Mr. Rajoelina's government and three opposition groups, including one led by ousted President Marc Ravalomanana.

Madagascar remains suspended from the AU, and the organization refuses to recognize Mr. Rajoelina as president.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.