25 January 2014

Madagascar: Blast Near President's Inauguration Site

A grenade explosion near the site of Saturday's inauguration for Madagascar's president, Hery Rajaonarimampianina, has left a child dead and more than 30 people injured.

Investigators say the blast occurred near a stadium in the capital, Antananarivo, where the president had been sworn in earlier in the day.

The Reuters news agency reports a musical show was under way in the stadium when the blast occurred.

During his ceremony, Rajaonarimampianina appealed for help in promoting national unity, following the Indian Ocean island's first presidential election since a 2009 coup.

Rajaonarimampianina is a former finance minister. He was backed by former leader Andry Rajoelina in the December 20 presidential poll.

Mr. Rajoelina became president after the 2009 government takeover.

The coup resulted in a suspension of foreign aid to Madagascar. Experts say they hope Rajaonarimampianina's election will end the country's five-year economic and political crisis.

Some information for this report comes from AP, AFP and Reuters.


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