Chadian Army, Rebels Battle a Second Day

Insurgents claim prez trapped in palace; foreigners evacuate
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2008 10:17 AM CST
Chadian National Concord (CNT) rebel movement fighters are pictured 11 December 2007 in Abougoudam. CNT rebel movement leaders, president Hassan Saleh el-Dinedi and chief of staff, General Mahamat Hassan...   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Gunfire echoed through the Chadian capital of N'Djamena today, as government forces struggled to fight back rebels on the second day of an offensive which they claimed had trapped the president in his palace, the AP reports. A spokesman for France's military—which maintains a presence in its former colony—says the outcome is far from certain: "Nobody can say who will win."

Despite the insurgents' claims, however, a French minister said Chad's president "still has command over practically all of the Chadian army." But the French may not intervene as they have in past rebel attacks, for such action could endanger a planned EU peacekeeping mission.