Chad parades captured rebels incl Sudanese police officer
The 160 prisoners, looking downcast and some wearing bedraggled camouflage uniforms, were displayed sitting on the ground before reporters and dignitaries in Independence Square at a rally aimed at bolstering popular support for Deby.
At least one was wounded, his arm dripping blood onto the ground, while another slumped forward in a faint. The captives were shown along with 14 military vehicles, some damaged, which the government said it seized while repelling Thursday's rebel assault. Some of the vehicles were mounted with machineguns and rocket launchers.
"What you can see here are mercenaries the Sudan government has recruited among Sudanese and Chadians over there (in Sudan)," Chad's territorial administration minister, General Mahamat Ali Abdallah Nassour, told reporters.
One of the prisoners displayed in N'Djamena told reporters he was a Sudanese police officer of Chadian parents who had been offered 500,000 CFA francs to fight with the rebels.
Mahamat Ali Mahamat, 31, said he entered Chad for the first time three weeks ago and that a "difficult social situation" obliged him to join the rebels.
Photo: Prisoners captured after a rebel assault on the capital, N'Djamena, put on display at the Place d'Independence (BBC)