Chad’s President Idriss Deby has died of injuries suffered on the frontline, an army spokesman said on Tuesday.
The news came a day after Deby won a sixth term, as per provisional election results released on Monday.
The 68-year-old Deby, who came to power in a rebellion in 1990, took 79.3 percent of the vote in the April 11 presidential election, the results showed.
Mr Déby “breathed his last defending the sovereign nation on the battlefield”, an army general said in a statement read out on state TV.
He had gone to the front line at the weekend to visit troops battling rebels based across the border in Libya.
The military council will be led by the late president’s son, Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, 37, a four-star general.
The rebels, from a group calling itself Fact (the Front for Change and Concord in Chad), attacked a border post on election day. They were advancing on the capital, N’Djamena, several hundred kilometres to the south.
The clashes with the army began on Saturday. An army general told Reuters news agency that 300 insurgents were killed and 150 captured. Five government soldiers were killed and 36 were injured, he said. The figures could not immediately be verified.
Mr Déby was a long-time ally of France and other Western powers in the battle against jihadist groups in the Sahel region of Africa. However, there has been growing unhappiness over his government’s management of Chad’s oil resources.
During the election, he campaigned on a platform of bringing peace and security to the region.