AFRICA/MADAGASCAR - Catholic priest taken hostage by bandits has been released

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Antananarivo (Agenzia Fides) - A Catholic priest was taken hostage by bandits engaged in rustling in the Central Highlands of Madagascar. The incident occurred on July 8, when some armed thugs (called "Dahalo" which in Malagasy language means simply "bandit") attacked the village of Morarano, whose territory is part of the Diocese of Antsirabé, killing three people and looting several homes. Among the buildings targeted there was also the local parish. The parish priest, Fr. Romuald Romyzafy, denounced that the bandits had kidnapped Fr. Ferdinand and three apprentices of the agricultural education center.
"The hostages have been released" confirms today Fr. Luca Treglia, Director of Radio Don Bosco in Madagascar to Fides Agency. "The problem of banditry in rural areas is strongly felt in Madagascar, although the area where the incident happened, the Central Highlands, is not the most affected. The hot-spot is the south, where in these days security forces are engaged in an operation to dismantle the network of bandits who plunder the villages and prey on livestock", concluded Fr. Luca. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 10/07/2014)