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Chad Military Reclaims Control of Town Held Briefly by Rebels

Military officials in Chad say the army has reclaimed control of an eastern city, a day after it was seized by rebels.

Aid workers and the military say the rebels appear to have fled Abeche early Sunday, saying there were no signs of fighting when the army moved into the town.

Witnesses had said rebels attacked government forces in Abeche Saturday, sending villagers running for cover. It is not clear why the rebels abandoned the town so soon after the attack.

Rebels said Saturday they also had taken control of nearby Biltine.

A recent increase in violence in Chad's east is raising fears the unrest in neighboring Sudan is spilling over the border.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (Antonio Guterres) has warned that the fighting could jeopardize humanitarian aid for hundreds of thousands of refugees in Chad.

The U.N. agency is locally based in Abeche. It cares for more than 200-thousand Sudanese refugees from Darfur and assists many of the 90-thousand Chadians displaced by unrest over the past year.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.