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Chad says rebels attack second eastern town

Written by: Staff
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N'DJAMENA, Oct 24 (Reuters) A newly formed rebel group has attacked a second town in eastern Chad a day after briefly seizing a settlement near the border with Sudan, the central African country's government said today.

Armed men attacked Am Timan yesterday afternoon, 24 hours after briefly seizing the town of Goz Beida and then being repelled by government forces, Communication Minister Hourmadji Moussa Doumgor said.

''The security forces are following the movements of these adventurers, whose objective is simply to show their presence on the ground and take advantage of the fact that the towns they have besieged do not have any significant military presence,'' he said.

The insurgents, calling themselves the Union of Forces for Democracy and Development (UFDD) -- the latest in a string of titles apparently attached to groups of rebel factions -- have said they want polls to end the rule of President Idriss Deby.

Chadian rebels attacked the capital N'Djamena in April in a lightning assault launched from the east, racing across the desert in pick-up trucks from the Sudan border region three weeks before an election which returned Deby for a third term.

The government called on the population to remain calm.

''These adventurers stand no chance against the determination of the Chadian armed forces, who are ready to give them the same welcome they received in April,'' Doumgor said.

REUTERS BDP BS1445

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