DISSIDENT SOLDIERS DEPLOY TANKS TO ANTANANRIVO


Dissident soldiers deployed tanks in Madagascar capital on Friday and said they would use them to fight any mercenaries hired in a power struggle that has killed 135 people on the Indian Ocean Island.
The troops have broken away from traditionally neutral security forces, saying they wanted to bring order to a country torn by a stand-off between President Macc Ravalomanana and opposition leader Andry Rajoelina.

Ravalomanana urged city residents to organize themselves to repel the mutineers and defend the presidential palace. In the worst civil unrest it is unclear who controls the government or military.
The crisis is crippling the country’s $390 million-a-year tourism industry. Many in the opposition fear the president will bring in mercenaries to defend his hold on power despite the dissident soldiers denying they are taking orders from Rajoelina.

SOURCED FROM REUTERS

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