The Public Prosecutor's Office in Madagascar announced that the country's President Andre Rajoelina survived an assassination attempt, while the security authorities launched a campaign of arrests among those accused of involvement in the operation.

The Public Prosecutor said in a statement that the authorities had arrested a number of foreigners and citizens on suspicion of planning to kill the country's president.

Two Frenchmen were among the people arrested in this Indian Ocean country on Tuesday "as part of an investigation into undermining state security," diplomatic sources said.

Madagascar - one of the largest islands in the world - is located in the far southeast of the coast of Africa, specifically in the western part of the Indian Ocean.

Many ethnicities live there, most notably the common ethnicity between Malays and Indonesians, as well as minorities whose origins belong to other ethnicities, most notably Africans, French, Indians and Arabs.