Thousands flee Chad as rebels vow fresh attack | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 05, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 05, 2008

Thousands flee Chad as rebels vow fresh attack

Thousands fled the Chadian capital Ndjamena on Monday, the UN refugee agency said, as rebels threatened a fresh offensive after two days of heavy fighting saw them pull out of the city.
Dead bodies littered the streets of Ndjamena, where buildings were pockmarked with bullet holes after a weekend of fighting, as Sudan denied claims by President Idriss Deby that it was backing the rebellion.
General Mahamat Ali Abdallah, operational commander of government forces, told AFP the rebels had been "completely routed ... Time is going to show that they have been defeated."
But rebel spokesman Abderaman Koulamallah, contacted Monday by satellite telephone, said the insurgency -- the most serious that Deby has faced since coming to power in 1990 in this central African state -- was far from over.
"We have pulled out of the city and we are waiting for the civilian population to be evacuated," Koulamallah told AFP, adding that the rebels were surrounding the capital that is home to an estimated 700,000 people.
"We opted to leave the city, but we certainly will go back on the offensive," he said. "We're asking the civilian population of Ndjamena to leave immediately because their safety cannot be assured."

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