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Bomb blast misses Madagascar leader's convoy

04 march 2011, 19:58
Andry Rajoelina. Photo courtesy of strategic-discourse.com
Andry Rajoelina. Photo courtesy of strategic-discourse.com
A homemade bomb exploded on a highway in Antananarivo as Madagascan leader Andry Rajoelina's convoy drove past Thursday, causing no damage, security officials said.

"It seems ill-intentioned people used a homemade bomb, which was remote-controlled by a wire 200 meters long," defence minister Lucien Andre Rakotoarimasy told AFP on the scene.

The explosion went off at around 7:30 pm (1630 GMT) but did not disrupt the presidential convoy nor cause any damage.
"A probe is under way," said Rakotoarimasy, as several ministers and investigators were still on the scene, two hours after the blast.

The blast came after a day after a new agreement was reached between Rajoelina's transition authority and other political players on a roadmap to end the two-year-old crisis on the island.

"There was an agreement yesterday and now we're seeing violent reactions," Alain Ramaroson, who heads the security committee in the upper house of parliament, told AFP.

Without naming anybody, he blamed the opposition groups still rejecting Rajoelina's reconciliation endeavors for the alleged bomb attack.

"They made their intentions clear some time ago, who else can it be? It's a last-ditch effort. They will realize later that they did not need to resort to such methods," Ramaroson said.

Former president Albert Zafy, who has so far rejected transition plans outlined by Rajoelina, declared on Wednesday he intended to set up a parallel transition authority.

On March 17, 2009, Rajoelina ousted the island's elected president, Marc Ravalomanana, with the army's backing.

The young leader set up a transitional administration but has failed to secure broad support at home and abroad, leaving the impoverished country in a deep political crisis.

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