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More Destroyed Villages Found in Eastern Chad

In eastern Chad, humanitarian officials are still trying to assess the extent of destruction, following reported Arab militia attacks on villages. The attacks have been underway since earlier this month.

Helene Caux is with the UN refugee agency, the UNHCR. From the town of Goz Beda in eastern Chad, she spoke by satellite phone to VOA English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua.

“What we have seen is more destroyed and burned down villages, more people who are arriving at Goz Beda, the main town in southeastern Chad. In fact this morning, one of our teams was going to one of the displaced (persons) sites on the way to Koukou, which is south of Goz Beda, and they heard shots, very close shots, and they had to come back…. You also have other people who have seen janjaweed (Arab militia) in the area…and there is no sign at this point the situation is going to improve,” she says.

Caux says, “We have an estimated 220 people who have been killed. At least 20 villages have been attacked, burned down or destroyed. And you also have thousands of people who have left villages in anticipation of attacks.”