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Madagascar bomb kills child, injures 33

January 25, 2014

ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar (AP) — A grenade exploded outside the stadium where Madagascar’s new president was inaugurated hours earlier Saturday, killing a child and injuring 33 people, authorities said.

The attack raised concern of continued instability on the Indian Ocean island despite hopes that the election of the new president, Hery Rajaonarimampianina, would lead to a resumption of international aid and political contacts cut after a 2009 coup.

Seven of the injured were in serious condition after the explosion in the capital, Antananarivo, according to Arsene Rakotondrazaka, the minister of internal security. He said the presidential inauguration “might not appeal to everyone and could be one of the reasons for what happened.”

An investigation was underway.

Rajaonarimampianina, whose candidacy was backed by the island nation’s former strongman, took the oath of office hours before the explosion. Robinson Jean Louis, the candidate he narrowly defeated in a second round of voting on Dec. 20, attended the ceremony despite alleging that the election was rigged and demanding a recount.

Foreign diplomats also were at the inauguration, which was followed by a concert.

Rajaonarimampianina, an ex-finance minister, was backed by coup leader Andry Rajoelina. Robinson was supported by Marc Ravalomanana, the president ousted by Rajoelina in 2009.

International sanctions were imposed after the coup, increasing hunger and hardship in the aid-dependent country off Africa’s southeast coast.

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