Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina pledged on Sunday that the cattle rustlers who killed 32 people after setting houses on fire in a village north of the capital Antananarivo would be punished.
“We must find the perpetrators of this massacre and prosecute them according to existing law,” Rajoelina said.
The Malagasy army assumes all its responsibilities to help the population and locate the bandits,” added the head of state.
An attack by a gang of around 12 criminals in the village of Ambolotarakely in the municipality of Ankazobé, around 75 km north of the capital, killed 32 people and injured three, according to the police on Friday (29th).
Army helicopters were used to locate the suspects and assist the military in their search.
Criminals are known as Dahalos
The ranchers, criminals known locally as Dahalos, surrounded the victims in three houses before setting them on fire.
The three injured are in intensive care at a local hospital.
Perched on a small hill, the village of Ambolotarakely consists of a dozen thatched houses.
Pictures shown on local television showed that all three houses had burned down completely and only parts of the walls remained.
Madagascar, an island located in the Indian Ocean, is one of the poorest countries in the world with chronic insecurity problems, mainly cattle rustling.
In February 2016, 12 thieves and one villager were killed in clashes between police, villagers and bandits near the tourist area of Isalo in southwest Madagascar.