March 16, 2009 / 5:50 AM / 11 years ago

Blasts heard near Madagascar presidential palace

ANTANANARIVO, March 16 (Reuters) - Two explosions were heard near Madagascar’s presidential palace on Monday, but there was no indication they represented an attack by the opposition or army on the increasingly isolated President Marc Ravalomanana.

“There were two loud explosions at around 3 a.m. (0600 GMT), but I don’t know where they came from. They were strong enough to shake the house,” said local resident Solanje Rasoamanana.

A presidential aide said the explosions, which took place about a mile from the palace, were an attempt to intimidate Ravalomanana, whose resignation the opposition is demanding. An army spokesman said the blasts had nothing to do with them. (Reporting by Richard Lough; Writing by Andrew Cawthorne; editing by Elizabeth Piper)

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