Chad says opposition group attacked security agency in capital, a day after election date was set

N’DJAMENA, Chad (AP) — Several people were killed Wednesday in the central African country of Chad in what the government said was an attack by an opposition group on the national security agency’s office in the capital.

Government spokesman Abderaman Koulamallah said in a statement that the attack on the National State Security Agency, or ANSE, was carried out by The Socialist Party Without Borders. The group is led by Yaya Dillo, the current president’s cousin and a strong contender in the upcoming election.

Koulamallah did not elaborate on who was killed or give the number of casualties but said that some of the attackers had been arrested and others were being pursued. “The situation is now totally under control,” he said.

He said the attack followed the arrest earlier Wednesday of the opposition party's finance secretary for allegedly trying to assassinate the president of the country's supreme court.

Chad’s interim president, Mahamat Deby Itno, seized power after his father who ran the country for more than three decades was killed fighting rebels in 2021. Last year, the government announced it was extending the 18-month transition for two more years, which led to protests across the country.

On Tuesday, the government announced that presidential election would be held on May 6.

On Wednesday afternoon the internet was cut in the capital and tensions remained high.