N’DJAMENA— Chad’s President Idriss Deby Itno has succumbed to injuries sustained in the north of the country where he had gone to visit troops fighting rebels based across the border in Libya, an army spokesman announced Tuesday.
Mr Deby “has just breathed his last defending the sovereign nation on the battlefield” over the weekend, army spokesman General Azem Bermandoa Agouna said in a statement read out on state television.
Rebels from a group calling itself Fact (the Front for Change and Concord in Chad), attacked a border post on election day and started advancing on the capital, N’Djamena, several hundred kilometres to the south.
The heavily armed militant group launched a raid on government’s army rear base on April 11, the same day Chad’s presidential election result was expected to see the incumbent Deby returned to power.
According to reports from General Auguna, 300 insurgents were killed and 150 captured, 5 government soldiers killed and 36 injured.
He also said Deby had been commanding his army at the weekend as it battled against the rebels.
The breaking announcement came just hours after electoral officials had declared Deby, 68, the winner of the April 11 presidential election, extending his power to six more years.
He was re-elected with 79.32 percent of the votes cast, according to provisional results from the electoral commission.
Former prime minister Albert Pahimi Padacke came in second with just 10.32 percent in the presidential vote, while turnout was 64.81 percent, Independent National Electoral Commission chairman Kodi Mahamat Bam said.
During the election, he campaigned on a platform of bringing peace and security to the region.
The military council will now be led by the late president’s son, Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, 37, a four-star general.