AFP - Fighting between government troops and rebels in eastern Chad has left 146 dead on both sides, Chadian military headquarters said Thursday in the capital Ndjamena.
In a statement broadcast on national radio, it said the dead included 125 rebels and 21 soldiers.
In addition, 152 prisoners of war were taken by the military, including a rebel commander and squad leader, it claimed, along with 67 rebel vehicles "recovered" and 73 others destroyed.
Among government forces, there were 30 wounded and "seven vehicles taken," it said, adding that its figures were provisional.
Chadian troops clashed Thursday with rebels from neighbouring Sudan, each side claiming victory in a first direct confrontation, which left aid agencies and traders fearing the worst.
"The first ground clashes have just taken place at Am-Deressa, 10 kilometres (six miles) south of Am-Dam," said Communications Minister Mahamat Hissene, adding that government forces had "gained the upper hand".