Chadian opposition leader, several others killed in foiled attack on security office

police line do not cross

Several people were killed in Wednesday's attack, the government said - blaming the opposition Socialist Party Without Borders (PSF).

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Several people, including a top opposition leader, were killed on Wednesday after an overnight attack on Chad's internal security agency in the capital N'Djamena.

The government blamed the opposition for the attack.

Chad's Communications Minister Abderaman Koulamalla said in a statement that the attack on the National Agency for State Security (ANSE) was carried out by members of the Socialist Party Without Borders (PSF), the opposition party led by Yaya Dillo.

Local media later reported that the forces had killed Dillo, although the government itself did not immediately confirm this.

Tchad One, a local independent news channel, reported the "assassination" of Dillo and later high "palpable tension" in the capital N'Djamena as troops hunted for more opposition figures.

The news agency also reported that General Saley Deby, a close relative of Chad's junta leader Mahamat Deby, was hunted down to 'surrender'.

Saley was later arrested and 'taken to the presidency', it said. Saley had joined the PSF in early February after leaving the ruling junta.

The opposition's earlier attack had resulted in "several deaths", the government statement said, adding that "further details will be provided later".

The government also said the attack on the intelligence agency came after a member of the opposition party was arrested and accused of plotting to assassinate the president of the country's Supreme Court.

Sources said relatives of the arrested opposition member, named as Abakar Trabi, and other party members stormed the ANSE headquarters when they learned that Trabi had also been shot dead and troops opened fire on the group on Wednesday morning.

The government said the situation was now "fully under control" after defence and security forces intervened.

It further said that "the perpetrators of this act have been arrested or are being sought and will be prosecuted".

The attack comes a day after the country announced it will organise a two-round presidential election over May and June with provisional results expected July 7. Both junta leader, Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno and Dillo, were expected to contest in the election.

Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno took power in Chad after his father, Idriss Deby Itno, who led his country’s troops to a battle against rebels in 2021, days after winning a sixth term in an election boycotted by the opposition, extending his 30-year rule.

His military government is one of several juntas currently ruling in West and Central Africa.