Antananarivo - Forty-eight inmates broke out of the main prison in Madagascar's capital Antananarivo on Sunday and another 23 would-be escapees were captured, police said.
The breakout, which began as inmates set fire to part of the facility, ended a few hours later with several of the escapees caught just outside the gates and others rounded up at roadblocks, a police crisis unit official said.
Some of those caught were injured, he said, without elaborating.
Jacques Sylla, the "prime minister" of Madagascar's self-proclaimed president Marc Ravalomanana, said President Didier Ratsiraka was behind the incident.
"We have noticed growing pressure on the part of the Ratsiraka camp on the city of Antananarivo, first through shortages, certain problems in businesses, and today maybe this option," Sylla said at the prison.