Nosy Be - A European lynched by a mob in Madagascar, who
also killed a French citizen and a local man, had an Italian passport, district
chief Malaza Ramanamahafahy told AFP on Friday.
The three men were killed and burnt in a day-long rampage on
Thursday on the tourist island of Nosy Be by residents who suspected them of
murdering a young boy for his organs.
"I saw his passport, he has Italian citizenship,"
Ramanamahafahy said, adding the man's visa had expired. Nosy Be lies just off
the northern tip of the vast Indian Ocean island.
He could not confirm whether the man also held French
citizenship, as indicated by paramilitary police on Thursday.
"Rioters launched a manhunt and killed the
Europeans," in the early hours of Thursday morning after a missing
eight-year-old was reportedly found dead, gendarmerie commander Guy Bobin Randriamaro
Local police commissioner Honoya Tilahizandry said the men
"were killed and burnt on Ambatoloaka beach", a popular palm-fringed
stand ringed by bars and hotels.
Gory pictures taken after the lynching showed a mound of
ash, wood and iron bars, with a torso and pair of charred legs the only
"They suspected the two foreigners of being behind the
murder and trafficking human organs," said the gendarmerie's Randriamaro.
Thrown onto a fire
The two men "confessed under torture to having
trafficked organs", he added.
Hours later in a nearby suburb, a Malagasy was also killed,
as mobs of hundreds of men roamed the streets setting fires.
According to an AFP correspondent, the victim was dragged
from a vehicle and his body thrown onto a fire.
In Paris, foreign ministry spokesperson Philippe Lalliot
said "two foreigners have died and we have confirmation that at least one
of them is French".
The Frenchman had a 60-day tourism visa and his passport
indicated he was a frequent visitor to the island nation.
The island - a tourist magnet with its sandy white beaches -
was calm on Friday, despite rumours the angry mob was hunting for a fourth man.
Ramanamahafahy said an interministerial delegation had
arrived on the island for a meeting with local leaders before visiting the
family of the dead child as well as "two people shot dead".
Until now authorities had confirmed only one person had been
shot dead when paramilitary police opened fire on protesters on Wednesday