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Five army generals, one church leader arrested by soldiers
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08:26, March 18, 2009

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Five generals of the Madagascan armed forces and one leader of the influential Christian church were detained by the armed troops loyal to the opposition leader Andry Rajoelina here on Tuesday.

They were arrested following a quarrel between the pro-government generals, who announced the decision by President Marc Ravalomanana to hand over power to the military force, and the opposition supporters from the armed forces, a private radio said on Tuesday.

The opposition leader, Andry Rajoelina, listened to the announcement read by the generals but left the room inside the headquarters of the Christian Council of Churches in the downtown area of the capital city, Antsiva radio said.

However, according to the radio, Rajoelina left the room immediately after the announcement, expressing his refusal to the president's decision to hand over his power to the military generals.

The generals, led by Hippolyte Ramaroson, an ex-chief of staff under the defense ministry were detained and put into a military prison here by the rebel soldiers.

They also detained Lala Rasendrahasina, a Christian church leader who is also a supporter of president Ravalomanana, the radio said.


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