18 Die as Madagascar Police Shoot at Albino Kidnap Protesters

18 Die as Madagascar Police Shoot at Albino Kidnap Protesters (News Central TV)
Madagascar police watch over opposition supporters close to former President Marc Ravalomanana as they attempt to gather for a protest in downtown Antananarivo on July 23, 2022. – Police in Madagascar detained two leading members of the main opposition party on Saturday during a protest against rising living costs and economic hardship in Antananarivo. Several hundred anti-government demonstrators gathered in the centre of the Indian Ocean island’s capital in the morning, monitored by a heavy military and police presence. (Photo by RIJASOLO / AFP) (Photo by RIJASOLO/AFP via Getty Images)

In Madagascar, police opened fire on a lynch mob enraged by the kidnapping of an albino child, killing at least 14 and injuring 28 others.

The incident happened on Monday morning in the southeasterly town of Ikongo, which is located around 90 kilometres (56 miles) from Antananarivo‘s city.

“At the moment, 18 people have died in all, nine on the spot and nine in hospital,” said doctor Tango Oscar Toky, chief physician at a hospital in southeastern Madagascar.

“Of the 34 injured, nine are between life and death,” said the doctor giving graphic details of the injuries. “We are waiting for a government helicopter to evacuate them to the capital.”

An anonymous police officer engaged in the shooting claimed that 500 demonstrators “tried to force their way” into the station while equipped with machetes and swords.

“There were negotiations, [but] the villagers insisted,” the officer told newsmen over the phone from the town of Ikongo, 90 kilometres (56 miles) southeast of the capital Antananarivo. Police first fired tear gas and then rounds in the air to try to disperse the crowd, he said.

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“They continued to force their way through. We had no choice but to defend ourselves,” the officer added.

The “extremely tragic tragedy” was confirmed by the national police in the capital, although only an 11 dead and 18 injured were reported.

The head of the national police, Andry Rakotondrazaka, stated at a press conference that what occurred was a “really tragic occasion It could have been stopped, yet it nevertheless took place.”

He said the police “did everything to avoid confrontation,” including negotiating with the crowd, “but there were provocations”… (and) there were people with “long-bladed knives and sticks,” he said, adding others hurled stones towards the police.

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“The gendarmes used tear gas. But that was not enough to stop the crowd from advancing. There was shooting in the air.”

However, the gendarmes were ultimately “had to use self-defense and limit the damage by shooting.”

According to Jean-Brunelle Razafintsiandraofa, a representative for the Ikongo district, the kidnapping occurred last week.

A crowd of 800 people stormed Ikongo prison in February 2017 in search of a murder suspect they intended to kill. 120 convicts escaped the prison when they overpowered the guards.

On the tourist island of Nosy Be, three people were burned alive in 2013: a Frenchman, a Franco-Italian, and a local man who had been charged with killing a kid.

With the false idea that their body parts bring luck and money, people with albinism have been the target of a wave of attacks in some sub-Saharan African nations.

Numerous people around the world, notably in Africa, are affected with albinism, a hereditary illness brought on by a deficiency in melanin, the pigment that gives skin, hair, and eyes their hues.

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A Canadian organisation called Under The Same Sun that works to end discrimination has been documenting instances of this kind of violence all over Africa.

Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, and Tanzania are listed as the nations with the highest prevalence of these attacks.

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