People living in and around a mutinous army base in Madagascar have been warned to leave, as the government prepares to crush a putative rebellion.
Dissident army officers have been holed up in the camp since Wednesday, when they unveiled plans for a coup.
The government insists it wants to avoid bloodshed.
But, the unrest reveals continuing divisions in the army since the previous government was overthrown 18 months ago. It is feared any violent action could permanently split the military.
President Andry Rajoelina took power on the back of protests at the increasingly autocratic rule of Madagascar’s previous president. But Rajoelina’s own failure to deliver on his pledges of reform has eroded his popularity.
The armed forces minister said talks with the dissident officers were continuing, but the rebel ringleader dismissed reports of negotiations.