Madagascar authorities have arrested 21 suspects over an assassination attempt on President Andry Rajoelina, local media reported on Monday.
The country on Sunday announced the arrest of five generals as well as high-ranking police officers in connection with the failed attempt to assassinate the President.
“To date, 21 people have been arrested and investigated,” Berthine Razafiarivony, general attorney of the court of appeal of Antananarivo, told a briefing.
Razafiarivony said that based on tangible, material evidence in the hands of investigators, the main instigators of the plot had been identified, L’Express de Madagascar reported.
The suspects intended to eliminate five Malagasy political figures, including President Rajoelina, she said.
“Several people were involved in this affair,” including five generals from the army and the gendarmerie, Razafiarivony said.
Six people, including two French citizens, were initially arrested on suspicion of involvement in the attempt.
Among the latest arrests, “12 are active military and police personnel, including five generals, two captains and five non-commissioned officers,” she said.
Four of those arrested are retired national and foreign police and military personnel, and five are civilians, she said.
Authorities seized 209,300 euros ($250,000), two cars and a shotgun, according to Razafiarivony.
Reports of the assassination plot came after several months of turbulence in the island nation, with threats directed at journalists reporting on the country’s coronavirus pandemic and a burgeoning famine in the south of the country.
Rajoelina, 47, first seized power in March 2009 from Marc Ravalomanana with the backing of the military.
He won the last vote in December 2018, beating Ravalomanana in an election beset by fraud allegations.
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