Senior Madagascan security official arrested 2009-04-28 17:48:56   Print

    ANTANANARIVO, April 28 (Xinhua) -- A senior security official has been arrested by police for suspected killing of dozens of civilians since February, local media reported on Tuesday.

    Ralitera Andrianandraina, security director of the Madagascan High Constitutional Court, was arrest late Monday at his office together with his three colleagues, reports said.

    The police found seven Kalashnikov rifles, two grenades, two pistols and large amount of ammunitions for various weapons at his office and his residence.

    Andrianandraina, a loyalist to former president Marc Ravalomanana, was suspected of giving the order to open fire at anti-Ravalomanana demonstrators in front of the presidential palace on Feb. 7, when dozens of civilians were shot dead.

    police officer Rene Lylison, who was in charge of the arrest and search operation, told reporters that Andrianandraina was also suspected of being behind the killing of more civilians during recent demonstrations by supporters of Ravalomanana.

    The accusation by the police was rejected by the former ruling party, I Love Madagascar, and by Andrianandraina's wife, who heads the women branch of Ravalomanana's supporters to fight against the current president, Andry Rajoelina, and his transitional government.

    Raharinaivo Andrianantoandro, spokesman of the I Love Madagascar party, denounced the police claim as false.

    Ravalomanana was forced to resign on March 17 following the rebellion of the armed forces, which openly supported the opposition led by ex-Antananarivo mayor Andry Rajoelina, who officially took over the presidency of the island country on March21.

    Denouncing the power transfer as unconstitutional, supporters of Ravalomanana have continued their strikes and demonstrations against Rajoelina for over a month. 

Editor: An
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