Rebels clash with Chadian gov’t at presidential palace

NAIROBI, Kenya

Hundreds of rebels charged into Chad’s capital aboard pickup trucks yesterday, clashing with government troops around the presidential palace in the most forceful attempt yet to oust President Idriss Deby.

The violence endangered a $300 million global aid operation supporting millions of people in the former French colony and also delayed the deployment of the European Union’s peacekeeping mission to both Chad and neighboring Central African Republic.

Libya’s official news agency, JANA, reported that Chadian rebel leader Mahamat Nouri agreed to a cease-fire yesterday after speaking to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, who was appointed by the African Union to mediate in the crisis.

BELGRADE, Serbia

Pro-Western president victorious in Serbian election

Serbia’s pro-Western president narrowly defeated an ally of late autocrat Slobodan Milosevic in a closely contested election yesterday only days before an expected declaration of independence by the breakaway Kosovo province.

President Boris Tadic won 51 percent of the vote, while Tomislav Nikolic, who ruled with Milosevic during the wars in the Balkans in the 1990s, had 47 percent, according to the state electoral commission.

“Serbia has shown its great democratic potential,” Tadic said in his victory speech, praising Nikolic for “the number of votes he has won.”

Nikolic congratulated Tadic but added, “I will remain to be his tough opposition.”

Tadic’s supporters celebrated in downtown Belgrade, waving Serbian, EU and Democratic Party flags and honking car horns.

BAGHDAD, Iraq

Official: Bombings prove al-Qaida remains a threat

A top U.S. commander said yesterday that two bombings carried out by women wrapped in bombs that killed nearly 100 people in Baghdad underscored that al-Qaida in Iraq remains a serious threat, but he vowed the military would “not give back any terrain” to the terror network.

Iraqis in Baghdad demanded more protection for markets, saying one of the bombers wasn’t searched because she was known as local beggar and the male guards were reluctant to search women because of Islamic sensitivities.

KIGALI, Rwanda

Rwandan quakes leave 39 dead, hundreds injured

Two earthquakes struck hours apart in Rwanda and neighboring Congo on yesterday, killing at least 39 people and injuring hundreds of others, officials said. Some of the victims died when the church they were attending collapsed.

The first, 6.0-magnitude quake struck Congo early Sunday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The second quake, which registered 5.0, hit a few hours later near the countries’ border, in Rwanda’s rural Rusizi district.

Thirty-four people were killed and 231 wounded in Rwanda, according to a Ministry of Health hot line.

Compiled from Daily wire reports

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