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KOUKOU ANGARANA, Chad (Reuters) -- Sudanese Janjaweed militia and Chadian rebels have attacked at least 10 villages in southeast Chad in the past two weeks, killing over 100 people and displacing more than 3,000, local and U.N. officials say.
The attacks are part of a spillover of violence from Sudan's western Darfur region, where violence has increased as seasonal riverbeds dry out after annual rains, becoming passable to rebel jeeps and Janjaweed on horses or camels.
"First we were attacked by local Chadian Arabs and the Janjaweed," said Usman Mucktar Hassan, sitting exhausted and dusty after fleeing his devastated village of Djimese Djarma.
"They came on horseback and used M14s to shoot at us. We managed to fight them off for a few days, but then they sent in the rebels. The rebels came in their Toyotas. They had heavy arms like bazookas. They killed many people," he said.
Hassan and others have sought refuge in Goz Amir camp near Koukou Angarana, a small town about 55 miles (90 km) from Chad's border with Sudan, after attacks that local administrative chief Mahamat Ibrahim Bahit said left more than 100 people dead.
The camp houses Sudanese refugees from Darfur's war between local rebel groups and government forces assisted by Janjaweed -- a tag loosely based on the Arabic for "devils on horseback".
'Killing men first, then women and children'
Villagers had little time to gather their belongings. They sit surrounded by the meager collection of possessions they managed to grab: straw mats, cooking pots and the odd bundle of clothes.
"When they started shooting we all ran. Some women didn't even have time to grab their children," said Kaltouma Adam Ali, 24, crouched under an acacia tree clutching a baby boy.
"They started shooting the men first, then killing women and children, and taking cattle and food. I saw a woman and her two children killed with my own eyes," she said.
"They even tried to shoot my baby -- they fired three bullets, three bullets. But luckily they all missed."
The rainy season offered a brief respite from violence as wadis became impassable. But with the rains almost over, horses can again get around and in a few weeks rebels will be able to circulate freely in their trademark Toyota pickups.
Locals say 10 villages have been attacked since October 4.
'All I have left are the clothes I'm standing in'
"The Janjaweed came on foot and on horseback," said Abdel Uburicha, also from Djimese Djarma.
"They took everything they wanted from our houses and then burned them. They even piled up all our clothes and set fire to them," he said, pulling at his filthy shirt.
"All I have left are the clothes I'm standing in."
Janjaweed are reportedly still in the area, which is tense despite the deployment of a small unit of Chadian soldiers.
"While intervention by the Chadian National Army and local authorities appears to have calmed the situation since Saturday, it remains precarious," Matthew Conway of United Nations refugee agency UNHCR told Reuters.
UNHCR is seeking a secure site for Chadian civilians who have fled violence, now estimated at 55,000.
Chad and Sudan trade blame
The apparent alliance of Chadian rebels with Sudanese Janjaweed also increases border tension, with Chadian and Sudanese officials trading blame over rebel attacks despite a string of top-level agreements to mend ties.
"It's the government of Sudan behind this. The Janjaweed come from Sudan, the rebels are Chadian but they've come from Sudanese territory," said local administrative chief Bahit.
The attacks -- some of which could be clearly heard from Goz Amir camp -- have unsettled many of the 18,200 Sudanese refugees there, protected by just 18 Chadian gendarmes.
"We thought by crossing the border we'd leave the Janjaweed behind, but now the problem has followed us here," said Sudanese refugee Roman Zaharoun Adam. "At night I don't sleep as I'm too scared we will be attacked."