N'DJAMENA, Chad — Chad's military command said Tuesday that its forces killed more than 1,700 Libyan soldiers and destroyed more than two dozen aircraft and scores of tanks when it overran a major Libyan base over the weekend.
The command said that hundreds of other Libyan soldiers who fled into the desert from the Matan as Sarra base are likely to die of thirst.
The Chadian military reported that 65 of its soldiers were killed and 112 wounded in the battle.
In Washington, the State Department defended the Chadian strike, saying there are still as many as 5,000 Libyan soldiers in northern Chad.
On Saturday, Chadian troops intercepted a Libyan column en route to attack the northeastern Chad outpost of Ounianga Kebir, routed it and chased the invaders 60 miles back into Libya, capturing the Matan as Sarra base.