5 October 2013

Madagascar: Security Heightened After Lynch Mob Killings

Security forces have been deployed on a popular tourist island in Madagascar as police try to track down members of a mob who lynched and burned two Europeans and a local man accused of killing a local boy.

Officers on foot and in pick-up trucks patrolled the island after authorities imposed a curfew following the murders on Thursday.

Frenchman Sebastien Judalet, Franco-Italian Roberto Gianfala and a local man were killed and burnt on the popular Ambatoloaka beach by a mob after the Europeans were forced into confessing to being organ traffickers and to killing an eight-year old boy, according to Madagascan officials.

On Friday evening, local police said they had arrested 14 people on suspicion of participating in the lynchings, or burning the homes of local police.

The boy's father, Luciano Anjara, told news agency AFP his son had disappeared a week earlier.

French government spokesman Philippe Lalliot said authorities are still trying to contact the family of one of the victims.

He added that the French school at Nosy Be will remain closed until Monday.

Both France and Italy have urged their citizens on Nosy Be to remain vigilant and to say indoors at night.

Around 700 French people live on the island of 40,000 residents. Victim Sebastien Judalet's passport revealed he was a regular visitor to Madagascar.

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