More than 100 killed in Madagascar in zebu clashes

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More than 100 people including officers of security forces were killed in Madagascar in recent clashes over zebu theft, local sources disclosed Tuesday.

In Betroka, a southern village in the Indian Ocean island country, at least 600 zebu thieves called "dahalo" took away 1,000 zebus on Friday.

Three officers including two gendarmes and one policeman were killed by the "dahalo" during the clashes, Minister of National Defense Rakotoarimasy Lucien said Tuesday.

In another place named Ranomafana in the southern region of Anosy region, 100 dahalo were killed Sunday by local people, who also had a dozen seriously injured during the fight, a local official said.

Mayor of Ranomafana Genevieve said Tuesday that local people already waited with stones and knives when they knew that the robbers will come. When the "dahalo" entered in the village with their weapons, local people injured them and killed 100 of them.

Local residents have recovered 600 zebus. The Ranomafana mayor said locals had dig a big whole to bury the body of thieves.

In southwestern Madagascar, 300 "dahalo" attacked the village of "Belo Tsiribihina" early Tuesday, killing two officers including the commander of national gendarmerie and the commander of army in the area.

Three members from the "dahalo" were also shot dead by the armed forces during the clashes, a local official, who asked not to be identified, told Xinhua Tuesday.

Minister Rakotoarimasy said the government will send 50 elements of armed forces to Betroka while supporting the local people in self-defense because the armed forces are not enough compared with the number of "dahalo".

Rakotoarimasy added that other strategies are already undertaken but it was not published for secret of military defense.

Three months ago, zebu thieves' leader Remenabila and his troops killed a dozen gendarmes in southern Madagascar, taking away thousands of zebus. The transitional government already placed 50,000 U. S. dollars of bounty on the head of Remenabila, but the latter managed to escape the manhunt and make trouble in the country.

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