Rebels Storm Chad's Capital in Coup Attempt

French, US embassies prepare to evacuate amid fighting
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2008 8:47 AM CST
French President Nicolas Sarkozy , left, shake hands with Chadian President Idriss Deby, right, as the French President arrived in the Chadian capital, N'Djamena, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2007. David Martinon,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Rebels looking to overthrow Chad's president stormed the capital today, advancing toward the African nation’s presidential palace and ransacking its parliament building, CNN reports. Ndjamena has been the site of fierce clashes between rebels and government forces, and today, a military source told the AFP it “is in the hands of the rebels.” Chad’s foreign minister disputed the claim, insisting Ndjamena is under control.

President Idriss Deby remained at the presidential palace, with rebels setting fires across the capital and unleashing heavy gunfire in the former French colony. American and French embassies are readying plans to evacuate staff and citizens, but France warned nationals to stay indoors until arrangements were set. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said he was “deeply concerned” by the resumed fighting.