Panic as bomb scare hits Antananarivo
The Malagasy police Thursday defused a homemade bomb placed at one of the branches of the French-owned bank BFV-SG.
This occurred near the headquarters of the Ministry of the National Defence and the office of the Central Intelligence Service, in the capital Antananarivo.
The bomb was neutralised by evening without causing damage or claiming life.
“By 2pm, a young man carrying a package asked me to hand the ‘gift’ with a mobile phone to the cashier. He was unwilling to get inside the office, probably to avoid video cameras,” recounted the gate keeper who added that the 'parcel' delivery man later disappeared..
Later, an anonymous caller ordered the cashier to send him $10,000 via mobile phone money transfer.
He also threatened to explode the (remote-controlled) bomb inside the 'gift box' if the cashier refused, prompting the bank to evacuate the personnel and the clients while alerting the security forces.
Homemade bomb attacks were frequent in the weeks following the disputed power takeover in March 2009.
The first bomb blast at the time took place inside a French-owned supermarket in the southern part of Antananarivo.
Supporters of deposed President Marc Ravalomanana were accused of carrying out the act.
Bomb attacks have however continued to be reported from time to time and even the interim President Andry Rajoelina was last year a victim of the same.