French army says airstrikes in Chad destroy 20 pickups

French army says airstrikes in Chad destroy 20 trucks in armed convoy that drove in from Libya

JOHANNESBURG -- The French army says airstrikes have destroyed some 20 pickup trucks in an armed column that had made its way from Libya deep into neighboring Chad and ignored three days of warning strikes.

A statement says the airstrikes on Tuesday and Wednesday occurred at Chad's request and in coordination with its army, saying the raid appeared to be aimed at "destabilizing the country." It does not say where the airstrikes occurred.

France says the armed convoy initially included some 50 pickup trucks. It is not immediately clear what has happened with the rest. A French statement on Monday had said the warning strikes "helped hinder this hostile progression and disperse the column."

France's president visited Chad in December and reaffirmed support for African anti-extremist forces amid concern about Libya's chaos.