Madagascar foils assassination attempt on President Andry Rajoelina

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Madagascar said on Thursday it had foiled an attempt to assassinate various Malagasy figures, amongst which President Andry Rajoelina.

Six people, two of them French nationals according to diplomatic sources, have been arrested.

"According to all the investigations we have made, the people arrested are involved in the assassination attempt of the Head of State of Madagascar. The arrests followed all the norms. The arrests were not made by mercenaries but by the police," Minister of Public Security Rodellys Randrianarison told the press.

"Six people were arrested. Among them, two Malagasy are bi-nationals, there is also a foreigner and the others are Malagasy," he added.

Police said they intervene to seize weapons on Tuesday after monitoring the operation for months.

Two assassination attempts in a month

The announcement of the assassination plot comes after several months of turbulence and threats to journalists reporting on the country's coronavirus pandemic and a burgeoning famine in the south of the country.

It's the second time in a short period that an assassination attempt on a high profile official has been thwarted by authorities.

On Madagascar's Independence Day celebrations on June 26, the gendarmerie announced they had foiled an assassination murder on their boss, General Richard Ravalomanana, who is also Rajoelina's right-hand man.

President Rajoelina, first seized power in March 2009 from Marc Ravalomanana with the backing of the military, and has since then ruled over the island country.

He won the last vote in December 2018, beating his main rival and predecessor Ravalomanana in an election beset by allegations of fraud.

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