The Chadian military said that with the support of French airstrikes, it had detained more than 250 rebels, including some top leaders, after an operation against a convoy of militants who tried to cross into the country from Libya in late January.
The Chadian military issued a statement on Saturday, February 9th , saying that their military sweep would continue in the region of Ennedi, the northwest border with Libya and Sudan, near where the armed column of rebel vehicles was brought to a halt in early February, according to AFP.
Some 250 terrorists, including four leaders were detained, while more than 40 vehicles were destroyed and hundreds of weapons were seized, the army said in a statement.
In addition, the army had seized several compromising documents, the statement added without giving further details.
The Chadian military announcement comes two days after President Idriss Deby said the column of rebels had been destroyed in a series of strikes carried out by French warplanes.
Meanwhile, the French armed forces said in a statement that acting in conjunction with Chad's government, French Mirage 2000 jets targeted the convoy on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday, destroying about 20 of roughly 50 pickup trucks the rebels started out with.
Chadian forces had already tried to stop the column with airstrikes at the beginning of February, before asking France for warning passes and then strikes.
An anti-Deby rebel group, the Union of Resistance Forces (UFR), claimed to have crossed into northern Chad with three columns of vehicles.
Yesterday, the group said it had suffered damage after the French strikes, according to one of its members Mahamat Doki Warou.
In February 2008, a tripartite insurgent group, moving in from the east, reached the gates of the presidential palace in N'Djamena before being repulsed by Deby's forces.
Chad has more than 200 different ethnic groups, and has suffered from repeated coups and political crises since it became independent from France in 1960.