Two people were killed and five wounded in a gun battle Sunday after security forces tried to detain a Chadian opposition figure who wants to run for president in April, the government said.
Three of those wounded were members of the security forces who came under fire from the home of Yaya Dillo Djerou, before firing back, said government spokesman Cherif Mahamat Zene.
“They had no other choice than to return fire in self defence,” he said.
In the small hours of Saturday morning, Yaya Dillo, a former rebel chief named minister after joining forces with Deby, posted on Facebook that troops and police had surrounded his home in N’Djamena.
“They have just killed my mother and several relatives,” he added a few minutes later.
“An armoured vehicle has broken down my front door. The fight for justice must go on to save our country.
“My dear compatriots, rise up!” he said in the last message that was posted at dawn.
In his statement later Saturday, government spokesman Mahamat Zene condemned what he described as an “armed rebellion in the heart of the capital”. The government believed it had been planned for a long time, he added.
The country is on edge ahead of the presidential vote in April, and earlier this month the authorites banned marches and protests in N’Djamena and the provinces.
On February 18, a Chadian court jailed a rights activist for three years for writing that Idriss Deby, the country’s ruler was seriously ill and being treated in France.
Deby, who has ruled Chad for over 30 years, is running for a sixth term.
Details of the gun battle have not been confirmed by independent sources, and authorities have not yet replied to questions from AFP.
It could not be confirmed Sunday afternoon that Yaya Dillo had even been arrested.