President of Chad declares state of emergency

.N’DJAMENA, Chad (AP)– Chad’s president declared a nationwide state of emergency Thursday, telling citizens that tightened controls were needed to restore order after recent rebel attacks.

In a speech broadcast on national radio and television, President Idriss Deby said he signed a decree increasing the government’s powers for 15 days.

Deby said the decree instituted “measures important and urgent to maintain order, guarantee stability and assure the good functioning of the state.”

Forces loyal to Deby battled rebels Feb. 2-3 in and around the capital of the former French colony in Central Africa. The Red Cross said more than 160 people were killed and 1,000 wounded in the fighting.