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Chad's President Says February Rebel Assault Killed 700


Chadian President Idriss Deby says about 700 people were killed in fighting sparked by a rebel attack on the capital last month.

Mr. Deby gave the updated death toll Friday during an interview with a French television station, France 24. Chad had previously placed the death toll from the fighting at 400.

Chadian rebels attacked the capital, N'Djamena, on Februrary 1 in an effort to overthrow the president. Government forces pushed the insurgents back after a three-day battle.

Mr. Deby Friday again accused Sudan of backing the rebels. He said Sudan wants to install Islamic governments throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

Sudan has denied supporting the rebels, and accuses Chad of aiding rebels in Sudan's war-torn Darfur region.

President Deby and Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir are scheduled to meet in Senegal's capital, Dakar, next week during a summit of the world's Muslim leaders.

Senegal President Abdoulaye Wade had said he will mediate talks between the two leaders in an attempt to diffuse tensions.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

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