Chad President Idriss Deby killed fighting rebels, says Military

Deby, 68, came to power in a rebellion in 1990 and was one of Africa's longest-ruling leaders.

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hadian President Idriss Deby Itno, who ruled the central African nation for more than three decades, died Tuesday of wounds suffered on the battlefield during a fight against rebels, the military announced on national television and radio.The stunning announcement came just hours after electoral officials had declared Deby, 68, the winner of the April 11 presidential election, paving the way for him to stay in power for six more years.

An 18-month transitional council will be led by Deby’s 37-year-old son, Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, the military said, also imposing a nightly curfew of 6 p.m.“In the face of this worrying situation, the people of Chad must show their attachment to peace, to stability and to national cohesion,” Gen. Azem Bermandoa Agouma said.The circumstances of Deby’s death could not immediately be independently confirmed due to the remote location of the fighting.

The military said Deby had taken “the heroic lead in combat operations against terrorists who had come from Libya.” After being wounded in battle, he then was taken to the capital, the general announced.Deby, a former army commander-in-chief, first came to power in 1990 when his rebel forces overthrew then-President Hissene Habre, who was later convicted of human rights abuses at an international tribunal in Senegal.

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