Heavy security in Chad capital after attack on intelligence HQThu, 29 Feb 2024 10:22:23 GMT

Road blocks and heavy security were in place around an opposition party’s HQ in Chad’s capital on Thursday, a day after gunfire erupted nearby following a deadly attack on the security agency.Soldiers were deployed around the headquarters of the opposition Socialist Party Without Borders (PSF).The junta-led government has accused the party of being responsible for a deadly attack overnight on Tuesday to Wednesday on the offices of the internal security agency.The following day, automatic weapons fire rang out near the HQ of the party, which is led by a fierce opponent of Chad’s transitional president.Access to the presidential palace was blocked off on Thursday and schools in the centre of N’Djamena remained closed.The telephone network has also been disrupted since Wednesday, while access to mobile internet is suspended, according to AFP journalists.PSF head Yaya Dillo, a cousin of transitional president Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, has denied any involvement in the attack on the security agency, which left several people dead.- ‘Politically motivated’ -Speaking to AFP, he dismissed the allegation as a “lie” and said it was politically motivated.”I wasn’t present,” he insisted.The attack came after a PSF member was arrested and accused of an “assassination attempt against the president of the supreme court”, the government said in a statement read out on national television on Wednesday.Dillo has also condemned those accusations as “staged”.On Tuesday, Chad announced it would hold a presidential election on May 6, which both Deby Itno and Dillo plan to contest.Deby Itno was proclaimed transitional president after his father, Idriss Deby Itno, was killed while fighting rebels in 2021.Mahamat Deby Itno promised to hand power back to civilians and organise elections within 18 months, but subsequently extended the transition by other two years.