Libya Renews Air Raids at Three Points in Northern Chad
N’DJAMENA, Chad (AP) _ Libyan warplanes on Friday bombarded two mountain outposts and a desert oasis in northern Chad where government forces had gained the advantage in recent fighting, Chad radio announced.
It said a girl was killed and two women were seriously wounded in the raid on the Fada oasis. Fada was an important Libyan military garrison captured by government troops Jan. 2.
Libyan planes also attacked Wour and Zouar, in the Tibesti mountains, the homeland of former rebel leader Goukouni Oueddei whose forces are now supporting President Hissene Habre, according to the broadcast.
The radio provided no details of the attacks on the mountain towns, about 600 miles north of the capital of N’Djamena in southern Chad. Libya made no comment on the report and and there was no independent confirmation of the attacks.
The Tibesti region, particularly Zouar, has been the scene of fighting since Dec. 11 when Libya launched a new offensive.
Libya occupies the northern half of Chad with an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 military personnel. The Libyans and Goukouni’s rebels had been fighting Habre’s troops, but after a falling out in October, Goukouni’s fihters joined the government, leaving Libya with scant backing from a smaller insurgent group. Goukouni, wounded by Libyan guards in October, is reportedly under house arrest in Tripoli, the Libyan capital.
The Habre government has received aid from both the United States and France, which has 1,400 troops stationed in southern Chad.
France, former colonial ruler of this impoverished nation, has said it would not become directly involved in the fighting unless it moves below the 16th parallel dividing the Libyan-controlled north from the government- controlled south.
The Chad radio broadcast claimed that Libya had converted the Aouzou, a strip of land that runs along Chad’s northern border and Libya’s southern border, into a ″concentration camp.″ It said Chadians were being held there ″like animals and tortured without pity by Libyan authorities″ trying to force them to profess allegiance to Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi.
Libya has occupied the Aouzou, part of Chad, since 1973.
The latest Libyan attacks follow a government claim Tuesday that its forces destroyed a Libyan command post near Zouar in fighting that killed 20 people, 16 of them Libyans.
On Jan. 2 government troops retook Fada, in the Ennedi region southeast of Tibesti, defeating a Libyan garrison in a fierce battle.