An American diplomat in Madagascar was found dead in their home late Friday night, the State Department confirmed on Monday.
U.S. and Malagasy authorities are conducting a joint investigation into the death in the African country’s capital of Antananarivo, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement.
“Our deepest sympathies go out to the family and to the U.S. Embassy Antananarivo community,” she added.
The State Department declined to release the name of the diplomat or discuss details of the death, citing the ongoing investigation and respect for the diplomat’s family.
“Driven by poverty and the continuing downward employment trends, the entire country has experienced a dramatic spike not only in the number of crimes, but also in their severity and type, including armed attacks, robberies, and assaults,” the State Department’s travel office wrote in July of 2018. It categorizes Madagascar as a travel advisory level 2, and recommends people “exercise increased caution” when visiting the country.
“More serious crimes, including home invasions, are not uncommon,” the travel office said, with U.S. personnel now forbidden from using minibus taxis because of high risk of robbery and carjacking.