Security forces in Chad have foiled an attempted coup, a government spokesman has reported. According to police and opposition sources a number of people have been arrested, including an opposition lawmaker.
The government of President Idriss Deby announced Wednesday that security forces had prevented the "destabilisation plot" that had been in preparation for several months.
"Today, May 1, a group of individuals with bad intentions sought to carry out an action to destabilise the institutions of the republic," the nation's communications minister, Hassan Sylla Bakary read in a statement broadcast on state-owned television.
"They did not count on the valiant security forces who have tracked them since December 2012 and who, this morning, neutralised them," he said.
He added that several suspected plotters had been handed over to the West African nation's state prosecutors, although he did not reveal the identities of those involved.
According to media reports, however, a number of arrests were carried out within the military. Police and opposition sources said soldiers, civilians and the opposition lawmaker Saleh Makki were among those arrested.
Coups and rebellions are not uncommon in the history of the former French colony. The president himself seized power during a rebellion in 1990. He went on to win four successive elections.
ccp/jm (AFP, Reuters)