The President of Chad died on Tuesday of wounds he sustained on the frontline fighting rebels in the north of the country, the army said, plunging into chaos a key Western ally in the fight against Islamist militants in Africa. “Idriss Déby Itno breathed his last defending the sovereign nation on the battlefield”, an army general told state TV. Mr Déby, a strongman who ruled the troubled central African nation with his fearsome military and wily political manoeuvring for three decades, had just secured another six years in office in a controversial election when he was killed. The circumstances of his death are murky. Over the weekend, the president visited troops battling rebels based across the border in Libya. The rebels belong to a group called the Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT). A convoy of rebels tried to advance towards the southern capital, N’Djamena over the weekend but was reportedly beaten back by the Chadian military.