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Chad president Deby, who oversaw resumed Israel ties, dies after fighting rebels

Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno (R) shakes hands with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a meeting at the presidential palace in N'Djamena, Chad, January 20, 2019. (Brahim Adij/AFP)
Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno (R) shakes hands with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a meeting at the presidential palace in N'Djamena, Chad, January 20, 2019. (Brahim Adij/AFP)

Chad’s newly re-elected president Idriss Deby Itno, in power for three decades, has died of injuries while fighting rebels in the north of the Sahel country, the army says.

Deby, 68, “has just breathed his last defending the sovereign nation on the battlefield” over the weekend, army spokesman General Azem Bermandoa Agouna says in a statement read out on state television.

In January 2019, Deby met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and announced the resumption of Israel-Chad diplomatic ties, in a breakthrough that preceded the later normalization deals with four other Muslim nations.

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