Madagascar security forces arrested the man named prime minister by ousted leader Marc Ravalomanana during a raid on a hotel in the capital Antananarivo on Wednesday, witnesses said. More than a dozen armed troops loyal to new President Andry Rajoelina’s military-backed administration stormed the city’s plush Carlton Hotel before seizing Manandafy Rakotonirina.

pm-madThe naming of several ‘ministers’ by allies of Ravalomanana, who quit power last month under pressure from the army but insists he remains president in exile, has increased confusion over who controls the Indian Ocean island. “The soldiers arrived in at least five 4×4 vehicles and searched the hotel for close to an hour. I heard one shot fired,” local journalist Hery Rakotondrazaka told Reuters.

Police and government sources declined to comment. Tensions have risen in the capital in the last two weeks as Rajoelina’s transitional authority cracks down on alleged political opponents and supporters of the exiled Ravalomanana. At least five people have died in clashes between forces loyal to Africa’s youngest president and Ravalomanana’s supporters.

On Monday, the military stormed the Constitutional Court and arrested four people.



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