[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Saturday, 18 November 2006, 14:23 GMT
Madagascar general urges overthrow
By Johnny Hogg
BBC News, Antananarivo

President of Madagascar Marc Ravalomanana. File photo
The presidential plane was diverted to the town of Mahajanga
An army general in Madagascar has declared military rule in the country.

General Fidy said the move, which comes ahead of a presidential election, was in response to the "illegitimacy" of Marc Ravalomanana's presidency.

So far there has been no official reaction from the authorities, although sources in the president's office were playing down the incident.

A plane carrying Mr Ravalomanana home from Europe was diverted after shooting broke out near the capital's airport.

There are unconfirmed reports that one government soldier was shot and killed in the shooting outside a military base, and local people told the BBC that they had heard gunfire early on Saturday.

Calls for support

General Fidy announced on Friday that the army was assuming control of the country.

map
He called for the support of the Malagas military in setting up a transitional government.

He then moved to a military base near the international airport in Antananarivo.

General Fidy had attempted to run as a candidate in the presidential election, which is set for 3 December, but his candidature was refused.

It is unclear exactly where the general is, although sources say he has left the military base.

President Ravalomanana's plane was diverted to the west coast town of Mahajanga.


SEE ALSO
Country profile: Madagascar
13 Oct 06 |  Country profiles

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific