Madagascar names bomb suspects

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Madagascar’s government yesterday said security forces were moving to arrest five close political allies of ousted leader Marc Ravalomanana suspected of planning a spate of foiled bomb attacks.
Two people were killed by their homemade bomb and 20 unexploded devices were discovered over the weekend in the capital Antananarivo in a suspected plot that President Andry Rajoelina called an act of terrorism, Reuters reports.
Political turmoil has gripped the Indian Ocean Island, which has oil, gold, uranium, nickel, cobalt and coal, since Andry Rajoelina overthrew Ravalomanana’s government in March to become Africa’s youngest president.
The crisis has alarmed major foreign companies developing the island’s resources, stunted economic growth and threatened the $600 million (R4694 million) a year textile sector.
“Security forces are preparing to make arrests,” Interior Security Minister Organes Rakotomihantarizaka told reporters.
He said warrants had been issued for a former minister in Ravalomanana’s government, a senior member of the former leader’s office, two ex-ministerial secretary generals, and the existing spokesman for Ravalomanana’s political party.
“I contest any such allegation. I am here and have no intention to flee or hide,” said suspect Raharinaivo Andrianantoandro, spokesman for Ravalomanana’s party.
Security sources said an injured accomplice of the dead bombers arrested by police had provided the names from his hospital bed.
Talks boycott
France called for the feuding leaders in its former colony to resume talks towards establishing a consensus government.
Military police said the failed bombing attacks targeted military posts and were aimed at destabilising Rajoelina, 35, and the interim government the former disc jockey formed ahead of a promised election. No date for the poll has been set.
Rajoelina condemned the attacks and said his government would not be represented at an International Contact Group meeting in Addis Ababa tomorrow.
“I vehemently condemn acts of terrorism and assassination. The transitional government has decided not to take part in the talks in Addis Ababa on July 22,” said Rajoelina.
“We are open and listening, ready to collaborate with well meaning people,” he told a news conference.
One opposition movement had already said it intended to boycott the talks too.