Antananarivo: At least one person was killed and five injured in Madagascar on Monday after violent demonstrations over persistent power outages in the eastern city of Toamasina.
"We received three injured civilians -- one who died from a gunshot wound -- and three injured policemen," said Dr Armand Rakotoarijaona, director of the University Hospital of Toamasina.
Hundreds of people attempted to ransack the offices of Madagascar`s electricity and water services company Jirama in protests that began Friday, burning the front door and smashing the windows with rocks.
Toamasina, Madagascar`s biggest port, regularly experiences hours-long power cuts, while some sections of the city go without electricity for days, badly affecting business and local traders.
Load shedding -- or rolling blackouts -- is a recurring problem in Madagascar, where only about 15 percent of the island state is electrified.
But the problem has worsened since President Hery Rajaonarimampianina came to power early this year.
Two months ago, the Energy Minister Richard Fihenena was fired for failing to address the situation. He has yet to be replaced.