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Days After Winning Sixth Term, Chad President Idriss Déby Dies From Injuries On Front Line

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President Idriss Déby of Chad has died suddenly in clashes with rebels in the north of the country at the weekend, the army has said on state TV.

Déby died while visiting troops on the front line of a fight on Tuesday, the day after Deby was declared the winner of a sixth term in office.

The 68-year-old “has just breathed his last defending the sovereign nation on the battlefield” over the weekend, army spokesperson General Azem Bermandoa Agouna said in a statement read out on state television, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP).

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.

“A military council has been set up headed by his son, General Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno,” Agouna, said on state radio.

Déby, one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders, won a sixth term on Monday, as the army said it had beaten back a column of insurgents advancing on the capital, N’Djamena. Deby, who came to power in a rebellion in 1990, took 79.3% of the vote in the April 11 election, which was boycotted by top opposition leaders.

The rebel group Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT), which is based across the northern frontier with Libya, attacked a border post on election day and then advanced hundreds of kilometers (miles) south.

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.

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