The rebels said government troops started the fighting. Heavy fighting has broken out in eastern Chad between rebels and government forces two days after rebels announced a ceasefire had expired. The clashes were about 40km ( 25 miles) from the volatile border with Sudan's Darfur region, in an area where 4,000 EU peacekeepers are to be deployed. The fighting ends several months of relative calm and comes one month after a ceasefire was brokered in Libya. There are now fears that security in the area will deteriorate further.
The combat, which is reported to have been very heavy, took place near the small towns of Forchana and Hadjer Hadid , 70 km ( 44 miles) east of Abeche . Aid workers based in Forchana reported hearing both machine gun and heavy arms fire for much of the morning. Mahamat Nouri , the head of the rebel movement, Union Forces for Democracy and Development, said the Chadian army initiated the fighting / BBC /.