( dpa )- Chadian President Idriss Deby on Thursday said about 700 people were killed in the latest rebel uprising last month in his country's capital.
The number killed in February's attempted rebel coup had until now been placed at 400. Deby also again accused Sudan of backing the rebels in the hopes of installing a government more friendly to them and spreading Islamic regimes to African nations south of the Sahara, he told France24.
Deby also said France had been "very useful" in thwarting the latest rebel attacks, though he would not say whether French troops were involved in the fighting. France has denied media reports that its forces helped repel the uprising.
Deby denied reports that opposition leader Ibni Oumar has been arrested by the presidential guard. Another opposition leader who also arrived in Paris Thursday said he feared Oumar had been tortured and killed by Chadian security forces.
Deby also said he would be prepared to pardon the six members of aid group Arche de Zoe who were convicted in Chad and imprisoned in France for trying to illegally fly more than 100 Chadian orphans out of Sudan and back to France. But Deby said he expected compensation of about 8 million euros (12.3 million dollars) for the crime. A sum of 6 million euros had been floated earlier.