the gendarmes confirm to have killed 19 people
Madagascar’s gendarmes confirmed on Tuesday that they killed 19 people when they fired into an angry mob trying to enter their barracks in the south-east of the island on Monday, following a dark case of the kidnapping of albino child.
“Nineteen people lost their lives and 21 injured are still being treated” at the Ikongo hospital, the locality where the incident took place, they said in a statement, adding that an investigation is underway. The gendarmes had given Monday an initial assessment of 11 dead.
Monday morning, shots had sounded near the gendarmerie barracks of this city immersed in green mountains, shaken for several days by the disappearance of a child, albino. Authorities suspect a kidnapping.
In this southern African country, people with albinism are regularly the target of violence, often linked to certain beliefs.
More than a dozen kidnappings, attacks and murders have been reported over the past two years in Madagascar, according to the United Nations.
“As a last resort”
On Monday, at least 500 people went to the barracks, some armed with “bladed weapons” and “machetes”, according to a source from the gendarmerie who was on the scene. And demanded that the four suspects be handed over to them.
The gendarmes first used tear gas and fired warning shots. “But, as a last resort, the gendarmes had no choice but to resort to self-defense,” explained the gendarmerie commander.
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