Comoro Islands: Death Among The Ilang-Ilang

Death Among The Ilang-Ilang

Sandwiched in the Indian Ocean channel between Mozambique and Madagascar, the Comoro Islands (pop. 500,000) are known, if at all, for vanilla, cloves, ilang-ilang (an exotic flower used to make perfume) -- and occasionally political drama. Last week, after surviving three coup attempts during this decade alone, longtime President Ahmed Abdallah, 70, was assassinated in his palace.

The leading suspect is a Frenchman, Robert Denard, 62, head of a group of about 30 mercenaries who command the 500-member presidential guard. According to French press reports, Denard, desperate to foil Abdallah's plan to integrate the guard into the regular army, visited the...

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