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Africa

Chad's president reportedly dies from wounds suffered on battlefield

Chad's President Idriss Déby has died from wounds he suffered on the battlefield in the country's north, the military announced Tuesday.

Déby, who had been in power for three decades, was declared the winner of last week's presidential election just hours before the news broke. The exact cause of Déby's death has not been verified by news sources, but he had traveled north to visit troops on the frontline of a battle with rebel forces based in Libya known as the Front for Change and Concord in Chad, BBC reports. The military said Déby, an army officer by training, was killed while leading troops in combat.

Laith Alkhouri, a global intelligence adviser, told The Associated Press that the news "raises concerns" about security forces' assessment of the "severity of the situation," though the Atlantic Council's Cameron Hudson tweeted that there's no reason to believe this was a coup by the troops, suggesting Déby was indeed killed by rebel fire.

His son, Mahamat Idriss Déby, is now expected to head a military council that will govern for an 18-month transitional period, after which new elections will be held. But Hudson and other analysts anticipate the Chadian opposition will not easily accept such a transfer of a power, given that there was already discontent over Déby's rule. Read more at BBC and The Associated Press.