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Army assault kills Chad opposition leader

Chad former presidential election candidate Yaya Dillo.
| Photo Credit: AFP

A leading opponent of Chad’s ruling junta chief has died in an army assault on his party headquarters ahead of a May election when he was set to be the main rival to his cousin and transitional President Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno.

Yaya Dillo Djerou died on Wednesday “where he had retreated, at the headquarters of his party. He didn’t want to surrender and fired on law enforcement,” said government spokesman Abderaman Koulamallah, who is also Communications Minister, said.

The prosecutor general earlier spoke of “dead including Yaya Dillo” without detailing the circumstances.

Roadblocks and heavy security were in place on Thursday around the party’s headquarters in Chad’s capital where the army carried out the assault the previous day.

Dillo, who led the opposition Socialist Party Without Borders (PSF), was accused of having led an attack against the offices of the internal security agency overnight on Tuesday to Wednesday. That came after the arrest of a PSF member accused of an “assassination attempt against the president of the supreme court”.

Speaking to AFP on Wednesday, Dillo had denied any involvement in the incident, denouncing the claim as a “lie” and politically motivated.

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