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There was a steady build-up of soldiers in two of Madagascar's provincial towns on Thursday as president Marc Ravalomanana reiterated his intention to take military action if the blockade of the capital, Antananarivo, was not dismantled within four days. Aid agencies told IRIN that the southern town of Tulear, and Mahajanga in the north were "extremely tense" as armed forces seem to prepare for what is expected to be a crucial showdown between Ravalomanana's men and backers of former president Didier Ratsiraka.