Mutiny in Madagascar

A Police officer takes cover during a mutiny by troops at a military camp near Madagascar’s main airport in Antananarivo on 22JUL12.

A group of mutinous soldiers in Madagascar took over a military camp near the Indian Ocean island’s main airport on Sunday and shot an army officer sent in to negotiate their surrender, the Defence Ministry said.

Government soldiers surrounded the base and launched an attack on the mutineers the afternoon of 22JUL12 after attempts to negotiate failed, the military said. It was not immediately clear how many mutinous soldiers were holed up inside the base.

The Defence Ministry said the mutiny is led by Koto Mainty, a bodyguard of former Defence Minister Noel Rakotonandrasana, who was jailed after taking part in a 2010 mutiny.

Madagascar has been shaken by political turmoil and violence since opposition leader Andry Rajoelina ousted President Marc Ravalomanana in 2009, who now lives in exile in South Africa. Mr. Rajoelina currently leads a unity government charged with preparing for elections next year.

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