Chad, Sudan relations worsen

KHARTOUM - Sudan will respond firmly to what it says was an attack by Chadian armed forces that killed 17 of its soldiers, an army spokesman said yesterday. The spokesman said military action was an option.

But Chad said it had routed a rebel attack launched from Sudan on Monday to destabilise its government, and Khartoum accused Chad's army of killing its troops.

"Sudan's response will be strong. We will consider all responses; political, diplomatic and military," said the Sudanese army spokesman, who asked not to be named.

The accusations marked a deterioration in the volatile relations between the two central African neighbours, marred by violence spilling across the frontier of Sudan's Darfur region.

Chad's Information Minister Hourmadji Moussa Doumgor said a convoy of 200 rebel vehicles from Sudan was defeated after it attacked army positions in the border village of Aldjirema.

A Chadian presidency official in N'Djamena, who also asked not to be identified, denied the army had crossed the border or clashed with Sudanese forces. - Reuters