Pro-Ravalomanana (pro-Rav) forces once again stopped an advance on the town of Antsiranana after pro-Ratsiraka (pro-Rat) troops inside the city threatened to use around 70 people they had detained as human shields. In other words, the pro-Rat troops have taken hostages in order to stall an attack on their positions. Pro-Rav forces are assembling more troops in the town of Ambilobe (about 150 kms south of Antsiranana). More electrical pylons were reported blown up, causing more power shortages in central Madagascar. In other political developments, it looks as if France has decided to drop its support for Ratsiraka. The French government issued a communiqu blasting Ratsiraka.