Canadian Monk, 76, Dies in Madagascar Strife

FIANARANTOA, Madagascar, APRIL 14, 2002 ( A Canadian monk was killed as forces loyal to self-declared President Marc Ravalomanana tried to seize control of Madagascar´s third town, Fianarantsoa.

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Joseph Roger Morin, 76, died instantly Friday when he was hit by a bullet fired through a window of the Sacred Heart monastery in Fianarantsoa´s Tsaramandroso district, said a fellow monk, according to the Associated Press. The monastery is located near the governor´s office.

The missionary, who was originally from Quebec, had worked in this island nation for more than two decades, news agencies reported.

The attack on the governor´s residence was an effort by Ravalomanana to seize control of the island nation from President Didier Ratsiraka in the wake of disputed December presidential elections. On Saturday five soldiers were shot dead as they tried to break through a roadblock manned by opposition militia, hospital officials told AP.

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