Chad's President, Idriss Deby
An army spokesman said on Tuesday that Chadian President Idriss Déby Itno died of injuries sustained on the front lines in northern Chad, where he had gone to see soldiers fighting rebels during a major incursion into the area.
Déby, 68, had just won his sixth term in office after being proclaimed the winner of the April 11 presidential election just hours before the announcement. He had governed the Central African nation for more than three decades. The US backed the long-serving head of state in his efforts to combat Islamist extremism and militant groups such as Boko Haram.
There are several unanswered questions about Déby's death. Although the military said Déby had heroically led fighting operations against terrorists who had travelled from Libya, some analysts questioned why a head of state would be in a war zone and how he might have been killed, casting doubt on his protective guard.
Déby's government has survived many armed rebellions since coming to power in 1990, before this new uprising, which is suspected to have trained in neighbouring Libya before crossing into northern Chad on April 11. The government and parliament of the country have been dissolved, a curfew has been enforced, and the country's borders have been closed. Déby's son, Mahamat Kaka, has been named interim president.