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Madagascan president out of capital city

MADAGASCAN president Marc Ravalomanana yesterday afternoon fled to Mahajanga, a city about 500 km northwest of the capital city, shortly after the deadly confrontation between the Presidential guarding troops and supporters of the opposition leader Andry Rajoelina.

According to private Antsiva radio, more than 30 anti-government demonstrators, including a journalist, were shot dead shortly after lunch time yesterday by foreign commandos guarding the presidential palace in downtown area of the capital city. The Sobika news website put the death toll at 40 while more than 300 were injured, many in critical situation.

Local radios have called on all medical personnel in the capital to join the rescue teams at nearby hospitals. Witnesses said that the guarding troops opened fire at some 20,000 demonstrators when they tried to force into the presidential palace. Earlier, Rajoelina, former major of Antananarivo, proclaimed himself as president of Madagascar and also announced the establishment of a transitional government.

The current political crisis in the Indian Ocean island country began in December when President Marc Ravalomanana ordered to close the private television and radio station owned by Rajoelina.


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