NTANANARIVO, March 6, Reuter: Communal riots have erupted in Toliara, the chief town of Southwestern Madagascar, with widespread looting of shops and homes of families of Indian and Pakistani origin, according to reports reaching the capital tonight.

Similar riots broke out last Friday in Antsirabe. an industrial town south of Antananarivo. apparently sparked by resentment among indigenous Malagasays of the wealth of families from the Indian subcontinent.

Indian and Pakistani families, known locally as ““Karanas”. dominate Madagascar’s retail trade.

In Toliara. 600 km (400 miles) southwest of the capital, police opened fire to check rioting today but it was not known if there were any casualties, according to reports relayed to Reuters by relatives of some of the victims.

Article extracted from this publication >>  March 13, 1987