Makaye added that the government had used two helicopter gunships but "we fired at them".
 
A humanitarian source from Goz-Beida said: "There are rebels in the town. There are shots being fired and I hear cries of joy."
 
Rebel advance
 
A rebel alliance is said to be making its way towards Ndjamena to depose Idriss Deby, the Chadian president.
 
They last attacked the capital in February and made an attempted coup in 2006.
 
A Chadian government spokesman said that claims of the rebels' advance were false.
 
France, the country's former colonial ruler, said in a statement that "any armed action targeting Chad and its institutions can only be condemned."
 
The foreign office statement said: "We call on all concerned parties to find a political solution."
 
The rebels on Friday said that they would attack any French aircraft flying reconnaissance missions over their positions.
 
France has a military base in Chad and supplies the majority of troops for an EU peacekeeping force in the east.
 
The force protects UN camps for Sudanese and Chadian refugees that surround Goz-Beida.
 
Sudan and Chad have accused each other of supporting rebel groups against each others' governments.