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Madagascan presidential guards deny rumors on attack against barracks
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18:49, March 09, 2009

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Director of Presidential Security Alain Randriamamory has denied rumors that the presidential guards would attack the soldiers who refused to obey orders of the government.

"The reports from some media on the attack are not true. The presidential guard has no such an intention, " the brigadier-general told Radio Mada Sunday night.

He described these reports as rumors, aimed at undermining the unity of the armed forces who were ordered to restore peace and security in the capital of Antananarivo.

"We have to keep a watch on the misinformation because this is done to sow hatred between Madagascans," he added.

On Sunday, soldiers of the Army Corps of Personnel and Administrative and Technical Services declared that they would not obey orders by the regime to repress the anti-government demonstrators, saying that their duty was to protect the people and their properties.

Local media said that the 600-strong troops control large stocks of arms and ammunition at the barracks, six km from the downtown.

Urging citizens to be calm, Randriamamory reminded the people of being careful of media misinformation, which, he said, wanted to sow hatred between Madagascans.

Randriamamory did not mention the mutiny in the military camp which has been sealed off by the armed troops since Sunday.

The revolted soldiers arrested one of the presidential guards and killed one policeman in civilian dress on his way to the barracks.

No armed troops were seen on Monday at the roads to and from the city center, where the opposition had called anti-government gatherings ever since last December.

Under the order of the government led by President Marc Ravalomanana, the armed troops and the police went to the street last Wednesday to restore order and security of the mountainous city, which has been in turmoil for nearly two months.

Source: Xinhua

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