the series Bloodbath In Madagascar. Walter Astrada was right in the middle of a crowd of peaceful protesters when soldiers opened fire.

The work documents political violence which claimed the lives of more than 130 in February 2009. The most shocking incident of all was when government forces opened fire on anti-government demonstrators who were marching on the presidential palace in Antananarivo, the capital of the east African island nation.

Astrada, who works as a stringer for Agence France Presse, had left an assignment in the Democratic Republic of Congo to cover the unrest. Yet by the time the killing erupted, he was the only foreign photographer remaining in the country. Others had left to chase new stories, feeling that the worst was over.

The photojournalist was among the crowd in front of the palace just before the first shots rang out.

“When I arrived at the demonstration, I was thinking, ‘Oh, why did they ask me to come here?’ There was nothing going on. Nobody was suspecting that kind of violence…” the series Violence Against Women In India. Photo by Walter Astrada for the Alexia Foundation/Reportage by Getty Images the series Femicide In Guatamala. Part of this project was financed by prize money from World Press Photo.