Chad's President Idriss Deby Itno has died on the battlefield after three decades in power, the army announced on state television on Tuesday.
Deby, 68, “has just breathed his last defending the sovereign nation on the battlefield” over the weekend, army spokesman General Azem Bermandoa Agouna said in a statement read out on state television.
The stunning announcement came just hours after electoral officials had declared Deby, 68, the winner of the April 11 presidential election, paving the way for him to stay in power for six more years.
The army said Deby had been commanding his army at the weekend as it battled against rebels who had launched a major incursion into the north of the country on election day.
The army said a military council led by the late president’s 37-year-old son Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, a four-star general, would replace him.