Madagascar protest death toll at least 25

February 8, 2009 09:17


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At least 25 people were killed and 167 wounded when security forces fired on anti-government protesters outside a presidential palace in Madagascar's capital, the national police said Sunday. The country's president and his rival each held the other responsible for the new escalation of political violence on this Indian Ocean Island. Saturday's protest started at a central square where opposition leader Andry Rajoelina regularly addresses supporters. Thousands of demonstrators then headed toward the presidential palace. Protests late last month by Rajoelina's supporters had deteriorated into riots and looting sprees that left dozens of people dead. Rajoelina has accused the president of misspending public money and threatening the nation's young democracy.

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