New arrests in plot to kill Madagascar president

Four of those arrested are retired national and foreign police and military personnel, and five are civilians, she said. Authorities seized 209,300 euros ($250,000), two cars and a shotgun, according to Razafiarivony.

The president of Madagascar Andry Rajoelina attends a ceremony to launch 'Covid Organics' or CVO, in Antananarivo on 20 April 2020. CVO is a remedy from the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research (IMRA) created from the Artemisia plant and is supposed to prevent any infection by COVID-19. Picture: AFP

ANTANANARIVO - Madagascar on Sunday announced the arrest of five generals as well as high-ranking police officers in connection with a failed attempt to assassinate President Andry Rajoelina, the attorney general said.

"To date, 21 people have been arrested and investigated," Berthine Razafiarivony told a news briefing. Six people, including two French citizens, were initially arrested on suspicion of involvement in the attempt.

Among the latest arrests, "12 are active military and police personnel, including five generals, two captains and five non-commissioned officers," she said.

Four of those arrested are retired national and foreign police and military personnel, and five are civilians, she said. Authorities seized 209,300 euros ($250,000), two cars and a shotgun, according to Razafiarivony.

Reports of the assassination plot came after several months of turbulence in the island nation, with threats directed at journalists reporting on the country's coronavirus pandemic and a burgeoning famine in the south of the country.

Rajoelina, 47, first seized power in March 2009 from Marc Ravalomanana with the backing of the military. He won the last vote in December 2018, beating Ravalomanana in an election beset by fraud allegations.

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