The attack occurred the previous day in Birak, 4 miles from the border separating Sudan and Chad. The Chadian army also captured two of the Arab militia, known as Janjaweed, minister Mouckhtar Wawa Dahab said.

A May 9 attack by the Janjaweed on a village inside Chad caused fighting between the militia and the Chadian army in which dozens of civilians were killed, along with 60 militiamen and one Chadian soldier.

Over 110,000 Sudanese villagers have fled the fighting in Darfur for eastern Chad, but the Arab militia has since been conducting cross-border raids in which they terrorise Sudanese refugees and Chadian villagers.

The latest attack may strain relations between Sudan and Chad, which has been leading efforts to end a 16-month rebellion in the Darfur region of neighboring western Sudan.