Chad’s President Idriss Deby Itno was killed during a battle against rebels in the North part of the country.
The army announced his death just a day after he was proclaimed the winner of the presidential election held in April.
While announcing his death, the army spokesman General Azem Bermandoa Agouna said Idriss had led in commanding his army at the weekend as it battled against rebels who had launched a major incursion into the northern part of the country during the election day.
“The president has just breathed his last breath defending the sovereign nation on the battlefield,” said the army spokesperson in a televised address.
“Marshal Idriss Deby Itno, as he did each time that the institutions of the republic were gravely threatened, took control of operations during the heroic combat led against the terrorist from Libya,”
He was wounded during the fighting and died once repatriated to N’Djamena,” Bermandoa Agouna announced.
In the address, the army spokesperson also declared that the late President’s son, Mahamat Kaka will become the interim president as per the orders of a transitional council of military officers.
He further assured Chadians that the country is in safe hands and all measures have been put in place to ensure peace in the country.
“The National Council of Transition reassures the Chadian people that all measures have been taken to guarantee peace, security and the republican order,” he said.
68-year-old Idriss had ruled Chad for 30 years, this being his sixth term in office.
He was known for his anti-jihadist campaign and his strong fight against Islamist militants in the country.
Being one of Africa’s longest serving leaders, Idriss had survived numerous rebellions and coup attempts.
His sixth election into office saw opposition leaders in the country boycotting the vote as they complained of his long and oppressive rule.