Rebels claimed Monday to have killed 63 government soldiers, including a senior officer, in an ambush in northern Chad that also left seven rebels dead.
The clash took place on Tuesday while the soldiers were patrolling the remote Aozou region near the border with Libya, the Democratic Movement for Justice in Chad (MDJT) said in a statement released to AFP in Gabon.
The rebels claimed to have destroyed eight army vehicles and to have captured 11 others, including one "laden with arms and munitions."
"The regime is persisting with its military adventures," the statement added, referring to the administration of President Idriss Deby.
MDJT head Youssouf Togoimi, based in the country's northern Tibesti highlands, claimed last month that Deby was readying for a major assault on the rebel movement.
Toigomi alleged that Deby was "dispatching lots of military equipment towards Tibesti, bought with World Bank money he has embezzled."
The World Bank in late October announced that it had lent Chad 67 million dollars to improve the communications network in the impoverished central African country.
Togoimi, a former defense minister who launched his rebellion in October 1998, claimed that "the money was used by Idriss Deby to buy all-terrain vehicles, combat helicopters and weapons of war from Gulf states to fight the MDJT" -- LIBREVILLE (AFP)
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