32 villagers die in arson

The tragedy took place on Friday morning in the municipality of Ambolotarakely in the district of Ankazobe, about a hundred kilometers northwest of the capital Antananarivo. Three injured residents were taken to hospital, according to the latest report from the National Gendarmerie on Saturday night. The latter set fire to houses in one of the villages in this municipality, the police said.

as reported from Antananarivo, Laetitia Bezain

It was around 7 a.m. when several dozen dahalos – bandits linked to the theft of zebu cattle – attacked the isolated village of Ambohitriniandriana and set fire to two-storey houses, a Defense Ministry source said. Residents had sought refuge there, according to some sources within the police forces at the site. But other sources explain that it was the criminals who forced the villagers into these homes before setting them on fire.

Many elements from the army and the gendarmerie were deployed at the site yesterday.” What happened here is very serious. The perpetrators of this heinous crime will be tracked down and arrested,” General Andry Rakotondrazaka, head of the National Gendarmerie, said in a video posted on the latter’s Facebook page. “Those who committed this crime are people who live in this municipality.” says General Rakotondrazaka.

Research is ongoing and investigations are underway to determine what is connected to this arson. It could be reprisals linked to banditry in the countryside and theft of zebus, said the foreign minister of the gendarmerie, General Serge Gellé.

The district of Ankazobe, regularly confronted with armed attacks, is classified as a red zone in terms of insecurity and zebu thefts.

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