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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 February 2008, 09:35 GMT
Chad clashes 'killed 100' people
Resident walks through the destroyed central market in N'Djamena, Chad
Battles decimated streets in the Chadian capital
At least 100 civilians were killed in last weekend's fighting between rebels and government forces in Chad, according to aid agencies.

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said up to 700 were wounded in the capital N'Djamena during the attempted coup.

The Red Cross estimate was higher and the death toll was expected to rise as aid workers continued to collect dead bodies left on the streets.

Chad's president earlier declared a "stunning victory" over rebel forces.

Guilhem Molinie, head of the MSF mission in Chad, said: "In the three main hospitals of the town we have counted 100 civilians dead... We are arriving at something like 700 wounded."

Meanwhile, the Red Cross says at least 160 people were killed and 1,000 injured as rebels fought troops for control of the Chadian capital.

Thomas Merkelbach, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross in N'Djamena, said: "The Chadian Red Cross collected 80 bodies and there remain at least as many again, probably more."

'Mercenaries'

The BBC's Arnaud Zajtman in N'Djamena says the army and French soldiers have been patrolling the streets.

Our reporter says attack helicopters were taking off to bomb rebel positions outside the city.

He says that, thanks to intelligence and logistics provided by the French military, they will be hunting for the rebels' 200 pick-up trucks which withdrew after the heavy battles over the weekend.

Although the former French colony has a history of coups, last week's fighting was the most violent in decades.

President Deby (Archive)

French Defence Minister Herve Morin visited on Wednesday to show his support for the legitimate Chadian government.

President Deby appeared in public on Wednesday for the first time since the clashes, which left the streets littered with corpses and caused thousands to flee.

Dressed in full military uniform, he called the attackers "mercenaries" and accused Sudan of being behind the coup bid.

Khartoum has previously denied accusations that it backs Chadian rebels by allowing them bases in its border region of Darfur.

Mr Deby said he believed most of the attackers had fled the capital.

"We're at their heels and we shall catch them before they get back to Sudan," he said.

He thanked France, which has a military agreement with Chad to provide logistical, medical and training aid, for its support during the crisis.

President Deby has called for the European Force to deploy as soon as possible. Their arrival was delayed by the rebel advance on N'Djamena.

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