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The country’s Army spokesman Azem Bermandoa Agouna was quoted to have said in a statement on Tuesday that Deby “breathed his last defending the sovereign nation on the battlefield.”
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 rebel group Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT), which is based across the northern frontier with Libya, attacked a border post in the provinces of Tibesti and Kanem on election day and then advanced hundreds of kilometres south, but suffered a setback over the weekend.
Chad’s military spokesman Agouna told the reporters that troops killed more than 300 fighters and captured 150 on Saturday in Kanem province, around 300 kilometres from the capital Ndjamena.
He said that five government soldiers were killed while 36 were injured.
He noted that a military council led by the late president’s 37-year-old son Mahamat Idriss Deby, a four-star general, would replace him. A curfew has been imposed, and the country’s borders have been shut in the wake of the sudden death of the president, the Army said.
The shock announcement is coming a day after Deby, who came to power in a rebellion in 1990, won a sixth term, as per provisional results released on Monday. Deby took 79.3 percent of the vote in the April 11 presidential election, the results showed.