© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Chadian President Deby attends a ceremony at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Center in Jerusalem
N & # 39; DJAMENA (Reuters) – At least two people were killed after security forces arrested Chad's opposition candidate Yaya Dillo at his home on Sunday morning, Dillo and the government said.
Dillo, who will run against President Idriss Deby in an April presidential election, told Reuters he was attacked at home by members of the Presidential Guard and five family members, including his mother, were killed.
The government said in a statement that security forces went to Dillo's home to arrest him after he refused to respond to two court mandates and encountered armed resistance. It was not said what the mandates were about.
In the following fight, two people were killed and five injured, including three police officers.
According to a Reuters witness, the internet in the capital N & # 39; Djamena has been cut off since early Sunday morning.
Internet monitor NetBlocks said the Internet disruption in the Central African country was ongoing. Real-time data showed that national connectivity has dropped to 60% of normal levels since 9:30 a.m. local time (8:30 a.m. GMT).
Dillo said his gate was crushed by an armored vehicle and his home has been surrounded by government forces since the incident.
Videos shared on Twitter showed a Chadian military tank moving on top of a house while a crowd was throwing objects at it. Another video showed several similar armored vehicles lining a street. Reuters has not verified the videos.
Dillo is a formal rebel leader who fought Deby in 2006 before joining his government and becoming a minister. More recently, he was Chad's representative to the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC).
He is one of 16 people who have announced that they will run against Deby in the April elections.
Deby, who has been in power since 1990, pushed through a new constitution in 2018 that reintroduced term limits but was able to keep him in power until 2033.
Hundreds of people took to the streets earlier this month to protest his candidacy in the upcoming elections.
Deby has faced strikes and protests in recent years over economic problems caused by low oil prices and armed uprisings in the north, but has relied on his effective control of state media and institutions to maintain political dominance.
Chad is an important ally of Western nations in the fight against militant Islamists in West and Central Africa.
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