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ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar (Agence France-Presse) — The police in Madagascar shot dead at least 23 supporters of the opposition leader Andry Rajoelina on Saturday as they tried to march toward a compound of President Marc Ravalomanana.
The escalation in the weeks-old power struggle between Mr. Rajoelina, the ousted mayor of the capital, Antananarivo, and Mr. Ravalomanana came after the opposition announced a rival “transition authority” placing Mr. Rajoelina in charge.
After facing off with security forces in the capital for an hour, a group of demonstrators started marching toward the presidential compound, the Ambohitsorohitra Palace.
One cordon of riot police officers retreated when the protesters advanced but a second one closer to the palace opened fire.
“There are 23 dead and 83 wounded at the Joseph Andravahangy Andrianavalona hospital,” said Jaona Andrianaivo, head of the Antananarivo fire brigade.