Madagascar stadium blast kills two

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Baku, June 27, AZERTAC

Two people were killed and more than 80 wounded in a grenade attack in Madagascar's capital Sunday during the country's national day celebrations, in what the president called "an act of terrorism", according to AFP.

The blast struck the Mahamasina municipal stadium in Antananarivo at around 1600 GMT, just as a free concert was taking place to mark the nation's 56th anniversary of independence from France.

President Hery Rajaonarimampianina, who visited the injured victims in hospital, blamed the attack on tensions with political opponents in the Indian Ocean island nation.

"There may be differences of opinion between us, but these acts of destabilisation are unacceptable," he said in a statement broadcast on national television, describing the attack as "not just a destabilising act but an act of terrorism".

Pleading for calm, he added: "We will not respond to violence with violence."

According to the gendarmerie, the attack killed two teenagers aged 16 and 18, while 84 people were injured.

A military parade was held at the stadium earlier in the day.

"The explosion was caused by a grenade," general Anthony Rakotoarison, head of security and intelligence with the national gendarmerie, told AFP by phone.

"We consider this a terrorist act," he added.

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