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Chad Arrests Two Generals Following Failed Attempt to Oust Deby

Chadian authorities arrested two generals after a failed coup attempt two days ago in which at least eight people died, the country’s public prosecutor said.

General Weiding Assi Assoue, a former defense minister and regional governor, and General David Ngomine Beadimadji, head of gendarme training in Chad’s military tribunal, were detained on May 1, Mahamat Saleh Youssouf told reporters yesterday in the capital, N’Djamena. Two lawmakers, Saleh Maki and Mahamat Malloum Kadre, have also been arrested, he said.

“Documents recovered led us to the arrest of these generals,” Youssouf said.

Chad, which produces 114,000 barrels of oil a day and has a $9.49 billion economy, has been ruled by President Idriss Deby since he seized power in a coup in December 1990. In 2008, 270 people were killed during fighting between government forces and rebel fighters who entered N’Djamena in an attempt to overthrow Deby, according to Medecins Sans Frontieres, the Geneva-based medical charity.

Deby, who turns 61 this year, also survived another attack on his rule when army defectors tried to shoot down his aircraft while he was returning from a trip abroad in 2006.

Wednesday’s attempt to “destabilize the institutions of the republic” took place while Deby was at his home in the eastern Wadi Fira region, Youssouf said.

As many as eight people were killed and at least 15 were injured in clashes between the plotters and security forces, Agence France-Presse reported, citing a person it didn’t identify.

Police maintained a heavy security presence in the south of N’Djamena yesterday, checking all vehicles as they entered the city. The two generals are from southern Chad.

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