SUDAN WATCH: Chad rebels shoot down govt plane

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Chad rebels shoot down govt plane

The following report tells us foreign diplomats said they believed the plane shot down was one of two aircraft, thought to be Italian-made Marquetti fighters, which Libyan leader Col Gaddafi had made available to Chad's military in recent days to counter the rebel threat.
Reuters report Nov 28 2006 by Stephanie Hancock - Chad rebels say they shot down government plane (via WP) - excerpt:

Chadian rebels said on Tuesday they shot down a government military plane with a captured ground-to-air missile in fighting near the eastern town of Abeche, which they briefly seized at the weekend.

"The plane was shot down by a missile launched by our forces. It was attacking our positions," Mahamat Nouri, leader of the rebel Union of Forces for Democracy and Development (UFDD), told Reuters by satellite telephone.

A military source in Chad said a plane appeared to be missing in action after it failed to return to the air base in Abeche after a sortie on Tuesday morning, but he could not give any further details.

Chadian Defense ministry officials could not be reached for immediate comment.

Foreign diplomats said they believed the plane shot down was one of two aircraft, thought to be Italian-made Marquetti fighters, which Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi had made available to Chad's military in recent days to counter the rebel threat.

UFDD spokesman Ali Ahmat told Reuters the plane was shot down during fighting with government forces 40 km (25 miles) west of Abeche. He said a government helicopter had also been shot down, but that claim could not immediately be confirmed.

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