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Two killed, 80 injured in ‘terrorist’ blast in Madagascar


A grenade explosion has killed at least two people and wounded more than 80 others during Madagascar’s independence day celebration in the capital Antananarivo, officials say.

The explosion rocked the Mahamasina municipal stadium, where a free concert was being held to mark the nation’s 56th anniversary of independence from France.

It was not immediately clear who or what was behind the explosion, but President Hery Rajaonarimampianina described it as a “terrorist act,” which he blamed on “political divergences.”

“Divergences in point of view may exist between us… [But] if the leader does not suit you… you cannot kill the population,” he said in a statement broadcast on national television.

“We will never tolerate destabilization. Especially because this is not only destabilization but an act of terrorism,” he added.

A military parade had been held in the stadium earlier.

The last such explosion hit the same stadium in the country in January 2014. The blast killed a toddler and injured several other people.

No arrests were made in connection with the explosion and no one claimed responsibility.

The country, located in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Southeast Africa, has been the scene of political instability since the 2009 ouster of president Marc Ravalomanana by Antananarivo’s then-mayor Andry Rajoelina.

Rajaonarimampianina’s election as president in 2013 brought hope to the country but the country’s national assembly voted to impeach him for failing to deliver on his pledges only 18 months after his election.

Although the impeachment bid failed, it put Rajaonarimampianina’s supporters and opponents on a collision course.

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