A demonstrator was killed in Madagascar as security forces fired warning shots and tear gas on supporters of the ousted president, Marc Ravalomanana, in the capital. Ravalomanana was forced out of office last month by the army-backed opposition.
AFP - A demonstrator was killed Monday in Madagascar as security forces fired warning shots and tear gas to break up a rally by supporters of ousted president Marc Ravalomanana in the capital.
At least 13 other people were injured, five of them seriously, as the security forces moved in to disperse the protest.
A doctor at Antananarivo's main hospital said the dead demonstrator had sustained head injuries but that the exact cause of death was yet to be determined.
Other hospital sources said many of the injured sustained bullet wounds.
Ravalomanana's supporters have staged a series of protests to demand the return of their leader who was forced out of office last month by his army-backed opposition rival Andry Rajoelina.
Monday's protests drew thousands of supporters who marched to the constitutional court and the high court to hand a protest letter against the army's confiscation of broadcast equipment from three pro-Ravalomanana radio and TV stations at the weekend.
Security forces fired warning shots and teargas at the crowd which responded with rocks in confrontations that lasted several hours.
Ravalomanana has said his March 17 ouster was a coup and has been rallying international support against Rajoelina, a former Antananarivo mayor who led months of protests against him on charges of running a dictatorship.
The Indian Ocean island has been wracked by political crisis since the anti-government protests erupted in January. Efforts to resolve the turmoil have borne little fruit.
Talks between the rival camps led by the African Union and the United Nations recently floundered after Ravalomanana's representatives walked out.
Last week, the exiled Ravalomanana named a prime minister in a move to show he was still the country's legitimate leader.
Rajoelina has been sworn in as the country's transitional leader and has named a transitional authority until elections are held in two years time.
Both the African Union and the regional Southern African Development Community have suspended Madagascar from their organisations and demanded a quick return to constitutional order.
Date created : 2009-04-21