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Chad president Idriss Deby Itno dies in fight against rebels, military says

Chad president Idriss Deby Itno dies in fight against rebels, military says”

Chad President Idriss Deby was assassinated Tuesday by militants from the North after 30 years in rule and on the same day of reelection.

Chad's President Idriss Deby has died while visiting troops on the frontline of a fight against northern rebels, Reuters reported an army spokesman saying today, the day after Deby was declared the victor of a presidential election.

Idriss Deby's latest election victory had never been in doubt, but the campaign was marred by banned demonstrations, arrests and a boycott from the opposition.

After six years of transition towards democracy, he is elected president in 1996 in Chad's first multi-party election, bringing some of the political opposition into government.

The government had sought Monday to assure concerned residents that the offensive was over.

Chad's military spokesman Azem Bermendao Agouna told Reuters army troops had killed more than 300 insurgents and captured 150 on Saturday in Kanem province, about 300 kilometres from N'Djamena.

There are reports of celebrations in the capital, N'Djamena after provisional results were declared.

The tanks were later withdrawn apart from a perimeter around the president's office, which is under heavy security during normal times.

Mahamat Idriss Deby also known as Mahamat Kaka named interim president by a transitional council of military officers is seen during a news conference in Ndjamena Chad on Tuesday. — Reuters

"The adventure of the mercenaries from Libya has ended, as announced", Communications Minister and government spokesperson Cherif Mahamat Zene announced on Twitter.

"Due to their growing proximity to N'Djamena and the possibility for violence in the city, non-essential U.S. government employees have been ordered to leave Chad by commercial airline", the USA state department said in a statement.

FACT is based in Libya, where it has a non-aggression pact with Khalifa Haftar, a military strongman who controls much of the country's east.

Britain also urged its nationals to leave, although France said in an advisory that there was no specific threat to the capital.

The FACT, for its part, said in a statement on Sunday that it "liberated the Kaname region", where the fighting took place on Saturday. Such claims in remote desert combat zones are hard to verify.

Former army chief turned rebel leader, Deby seizes power in December 1990 when his troops enter the capital N'Djamena and send dictator Hissene Habre fleeing into exile in Senegal.

The army announced on Tuesday in a radio broadcast that the four-star general will replace his father.

At N'Djamena's request, France carries out air strikes to stop their advance.

More news: Northern Health Region adds 43 new cases, COVID-19 flight exposure

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