Page last updated at 15:55 GMT, Wednesday, 2 July 2008 16:55 UK

Chad troops kill sect disciples

Chad soldier
Government soldiers fought against the disciples

Chadian troops have killed more than 60 followers of a Muslim spiritual leader who threatened to launch a holy war, the country's security minister said.

More than 50 others were wounded in fighting that broke out after troops surrounded Ahmat Israel Bichara's base in the south of the country.

Four soldiers were killed as the Muslim holy man's disciples fought back with swords, spears and bows.

Security Minister Ahmat Mahamat Bachir said the death toll was "regrettable".

The little-known spiritual leader had declared he was ready to fight to restore what he saw as the true Islamic faith in Chad, officials said.

The fighting at Kouno, 300km (185 miles) south-east of the capital, N'Djamena, reportedly broke out when they tried to stop him preaching.

"It's a regrettable toll, but we think we now control the situation caused by the actions carried out by these terrorists, these extremists," Reuters news agency quoted Mr Bachir as saying.

Country profile: Chad
25 Jun 08 |  Country profiles

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