A foreign aid worker described the scene in N'Djamena as "bloody and chaotic" with bodies littering the streets and looters breaking into shops during lulls in the fighting.
Gunfire could be heard coming from the area around the presidential palace, said the aid worker, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk with reporters.
The U.S. State Department condemned the rebel's attempt to seize power.
"We call for calm in the capital and support the (African Union's) call for an immediate end to armed attacks and to refrain from violence that might harm innocent civilians," spokesman Sean McCormack said.
Sunday, February 3, 2008
Rebels in Chad claim to have President Idriss Deby trapped in the palace. NEWSWEEK reports: