Madagascar Military Battles Renegade Soldiers

Posted July 22nd, 2012 at 1:25 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Madagascar's army says it is taking back a military camp captured early Sunday by renegade soldiers.

The camp is located near the main airport in Antananarivo, where witnesses reported hearing gunfire on Sunday afternoon.

The defense ministry says it mounted the attack after the rogue soldiers shot an officer sent to negotiate.

The military urged residents to avoid the area as soldiers moved in to arrest the suspects.

It is unclear why the rebelling soldiers took over the camp.

Madagascar's defense ministry describes the incident as a mutiny and claims it is being led the bodyguard of a former defense minister.

The country has been caught in political uncertainty since 2009, when military-backed opposition leader – now president – Andry Rajoelina ousted then-president Marc Ravalomanana.

The former leader is living in exile in South Africa. Mr. Ravalomanana received a life sentence in absentia for killings committed by his presidential guard ahead of the coup.