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Saturday, February 02, 2008

N'Djamena Appears to have Fallen

N'Djamena - Chad's rebel forces appear to have taken the capital N'Djamena.

Unconfirmed reports say several thousand heavily armed rebels have entered the city and surrounded the presidential palace.

There are reports of heavy fighting but there is no word on President Idriss Déby.

The rebels, who are backed by Sudan, began advancing on the capital earlier this week, after leaving in a convoy of several hundred trucks from the border with Sudan.

France has sent a plane to evacuate hundreds of French citizens and other foreigners. US nationals have been urged to report to the embassy.

The United Nations is withdrawing its entire staff. The deployment of a European Union peacekeeping force due to begin on Friday evening has been suspended.

The EU force was to be stationed along the border with Sudan to protect local residents, refugees from Darfur and UN staff.

The Rest @ Radio Netherlands

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