2021-July-28 02:56
World
2021-July-22  15:01

Madagascar Foils Plot to Kill President, Two French Among Several People Arrested

TEHRAN (FNA)- Authorities in Madagascar announced several “foreign and Malagasy” suspects were arrested over a suspected plot to assassinate President Andry Rajoelina.

The prosecutor general's office in Madagascar stated it foiled an assassination attempt on Rajoelina, and arrested several "foreign and Malagasy" suspects, AFP reported.

Two French people are among several people arrested in the Indian Ocean island nation on Tuesday "as part of an investigation for undermining state security", diplomatic sources noted.

Attorney General Berthine Razafiarivony said on Thursday the arrests took place on Tuesday as part of an investigation “into an attack on state security”.

Razafiarivony, addressing reporters, also added the foiled plot included the “killing and neutralisation” of senior political figures other than the president.

The extent of the plan, or how far advanced, was not immediately clear.

Rajoelina was sworn in as president of the Indian Ocean island country in 2019 after a hard-fought election and a constitutional court challenge from his rival.

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

The 44-year-old first seized power in March 2009 from Ravalomanana with the backing of the military and remained president of a transitional government until 2014.

The former French colony has had a long history of coups and unrest since gaining independence from France in 1960.

The island is internationally famed for its unique wildlife and vanilla but is heavily dependent on foreign aid. Nine out of 10 people live on less than $2 a day.

The country has been under a lockdown since the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year and its Southern region is in the grips of a famine.