Mutinous troops take over barracks

Mon, Jul 23, 2012, 01:00

Madagascar’s army stormed a military camp near the main airport yesterday after mutinous troops took over the barracks and shot an officer sent in to negotiate with them, the army said.

An army statement asked people to “remain calm and evacuate the areas” near the military barracks as the troops moved “to the stage of arresting these mutineers”.

“The assault has already begun,” said the head of the army’s communication service, Philibert Ratovonirina.

Madagascar is one of the world’s poorest nations. The Indian Ocean island has been plagued by political turmoil in the three years since then-opposition leader Andry Rajoelina ousted president Marc Ravalomanana, who has been in self- imposed exile in South Africa since.

The rival leaders are due to meet for talks next week in the Seychelles, according to an aide to Mr Ravalomanana. – (Reuters)