Three men arrested for murder of French nun in Madagascar

Three men in Madagascar have been arrested after confessing to the brutal murder of a French nun, local police said Sunday.

Sister Emmanuel Helesbeux, 82, was found dead with injuries to her head in a market place in the northeastern Madagascar town of Mandritsara early Saturday.

"We have arrested three people, one of whom is Sister Emmanuel's former guard, between Saturday and early Sunday. The three men have confessed to killing the nun because of money," local police commissioner Eric Benty told AFP when contacted by telephone.

"According to experts, she was hit on the left side of her head with a tree branch," and her neck showed signs of strangulation, he said.

Helesbeux had lived in the city since the 1970s where she had worked as a hospital nurse before her retirement.

The French foreign ministry has said an investigation has been opened into the murder.