Article published on the 2009-01-26 Latest update 2009-01-26 17:19 TU
Nirhy-Lanto accused "mercenaries" of killing a protester outside a private television station.
That followed an attack on the Radio Nationale Malgache building by a crowd who looted furniture, computers and files before setting it on fire and damaging vehicles nearby.
The protesters were backing a weekend strike call by Antananarivo Mayor Andry Rajoelina, who accuses President Marc Ravalomanana of running a dictatorship.
Rajoelina has called for protests since Ravalomanana shut down his televison network Viva for broadcasting an interview with former President Didier Ratsiraka.
Rajoelina on Monday led a march on the courthouse to demand the release of a group of university students arrested on Saturday. Elsewhere his supporters erected barricades and blocked traffic in the city.
Ravalomanana returned early from a regional summit in South Africa on Sunday night and accused the mayor of calling for a revolt.
Rajoelina's nickname is TGV, after the French-built high-speed train. Thousands have turned out for his movement's rallies;
"The mayor has been able to articulate two things which some people clearly share some sympathy with," reports correspondent Billy Head.
The contentious issues are a contract with South Korean company Daewoo to farm wheat for export on a vast area of land and the purchase of a new presidential jet, which Head says is widely regarded as "a lavish gesture".