Police in Madagascar have shot dead at least 14 people and injured 28 others after they opened fire on a crowd trying to break into a police station to kill four men accused of kidnapping an albino child.
The kidnapping took place last week, according to Razafintsiandraofa, an MP for the Ikongo district, about 80 kilometers southeast of the capital Antananarivo.
According to reports, a mob of about 500 angry villagers armed with machetes and knives stormed the local police station in Ikongo, calling for the release of the four suspects arrested on Sunday, August 28, to deal with them.
The protesters “then tried to break into the station,” a police officer told AFP.
“There were negotiations, the villagers insisted,” the officer said on the phone, as police fired smoke grenades and shots into the air in an attempt to disperse the crowd.
“They kept pushing their way through… We had no choice but to defend ourselves,” the police officer said.
Local doctor Tango Oscar Toky said “nine people died on the spot” and another five died later in hospital.
Nine of the injured are in critical condition, he said.
“The gendarmes … fired at the crowd,” local lawmaker Jean-Brunelle Razafintsiandraofa in the southeastern city of Ikongo told AFP.
Some sub-Saharan African countries have faced a spate of attacks on people with albinism, whose body parts can be sold for thousands of dollars for ritual purposes.