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Several killed in attack on security HQ in Chad

Several people have been killed in an attack on the headquarters of Chad’s National Security Agency, the government says.

“The situation is now completely under control,” the government said.

It said members of the opposition Socialist Party Without Borders (PSF) have been arrested and will be prosecuted.

However, residents of the capital N’Djamena reported hearing heavy gunfire in the city on Wednesday.

The attack came hours after the announcement that Chad will hold the presidential election on 6 May.

“Anyone looking to disturb the democratic process underway in the country will be prosecuted and brought to justice,” the government said on Wednesday in a statement quoted by news agency AFP.

Following the deadly attack, internet connectivity was disrupted in Chad, according to internet watchdog Netblocks.

Communication Minister Abderaman Koulamallah said the attack on the national security agency was led by the leader of the PSF Yaya Dillo. He has not yet commented.

It is not clear if Mr Dillo was among those arrested, but in a Facebook post on Wednesday morning, he said the military had come for him at his party headquarters.

Residents said intense gunfire could be heard near the PSF base and several military vehicles were seen heading there.

The government also said the PSF was involved in a recent “assassination attempt” on the president of the Supreme Court.

Mr Dillo denied any links to that attack, which he described as “staged” according to AFP.

Mr Dillo is a vocal opponent of President Mahamat Déby, who came into power in 2021 after his father was killed by rebels.

President Déby promised to return the country to civilian rule – but delayed it for more than two years.

The election is supposed to mark the end of a political transition.

The Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS) designated President Déby, as its candidate for the upcoming elections, but he is yet to openly comment whether he’ll run.

Former colonial France has been backing Mr Déby since the start of the transition, raising eyebrows both in and out of the country. France currently has about 1,000 troops in Chad to fight jihadist groups across West Africa.

The opposition says the electoral commission is far from neutral and it fears an extension of the Déby dynasty.

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