Chad’s President Idriss Déby has died suddenly in clashes with rebels in the north of the country at the weekend, the army has said on state TV.
Idriss Déby’s death came shortly after provisional election results which projected he would win a sixth term in office, with 80% of the vote.
The government and parliament have been dissolved. A military council will govern for the next 18 months.
Mr Déby came to power in an armed uprising in 1990.
He had gone to the front line at the weekend to visit troops battling rebels based across the border in Libya.
Déby was injured while visiting troop
Déby was injured when visiting troops battling rebels who had launched a major incursion last week from their base in Libya, the army said.
He was often lauded for his efforts in fighting insurgency.
In 2020, he was awarded the highest military rank of Field Marshal because of the same efforts.
He had been set to lead the country for a sixth term after securing a huge lead in provisional results announced on Monday.
The army has announced that the government and parliament have been dissolved.
A military council is now expected to govern for the next 18 months.
The rebels, from a group calling itself Fact (the Front for Change and Concord in Chad), attacked a border post on election day. They were advancing on the capital, N’Djamena.
The clashes with the army began on Saturday. An army general told Reuters news agency that 300 insurgents were killed and 150 captured.
Five government soldiers were killed and 36 were injured, he said. The figures could not immediately be verified.
Mr Déby was a long-time ally of France and other Western powers. However, there has been growing unhappiness over his government’s management of Chad’s oil resources.