Before Idriss Deby, who was the last head of state to be killed in combat?

Before Idriss Deby, who was the last head of state to be killed in combat?

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Reuters reports this morning that Idriss Deby, president of Chad, was killed while visiting troops engaged in armed combat. I can't remember the last time I heard of a head of state being killed in combat; my hunch is that this has become exceedingly rare.

Prior to this event, what was the last time a head of state was killed in combat?

As the OP hasn't responded to comments, I've taken up C Monsour's suggestion and edited (plus cast the 5th reopen vote). OP, if you don't like the edit, it's your right to rollback. Other users, comments are welcome - I'm not trying to impose anything here, just trying to get an interesting question reopened.

Edit for focus / clarity (and to elicit an answer which is somewhat similar to Idriss Deby's death):

  1. The person must have been head of state at the time of death.
  2. Excludes coups as these are relatively common and comparatively unremarkable, unlike the circumstances in which Idriss Deby was killed (in past 100 years or so, I think).
  3. The person was killed as a result of enemy combat action in a war zone, either while commanding, fighting or observing his/her troops in action (i.e. the head of state was with his/her troops at the time). Thus, car / plane bombs and other assassinations outside of a war zone are not included. However, if the enemy learnt of the head of state's presence in the war zone and targeted him / her with snipers, artillery, aerial bombardment etc., that would count.

Michael Collins was ambushed and killed 22 August 1922 during the Irish Civil War. He was the head of the provisional government and arguably the closest thing Ireland had to a head of state at the time, even though, technically, the head of state was George V.

El-Ouali Mustapha Sayed

El-Ouali Mustapha Sayed (also known as El Uali, El-Wali, Luali or Lulei; Arabic: الوالي مصطفى السيد‎; b. 1948 - 9 June 1976) was a Sahrawi nationalist leader, co-founder and second Secretary-General of the Polisario Front.

On 9 June 1976 El-Ouali was killed by a shrapnel piece through the head returning from a major Polisario raid on the Mauritanian capital, Nouakchott, in which they bombarded the Presidential palace. In the retreat, pursued by Mauritanian troops, armored vehicles and aviation, a group with Ouali separated from the principal column, going to Benichab (about 100 km. north of Nouakchott) with the intention of destroying the water pipeline that supplied the capital. Other sources claim that the subsequent combat took place 60 km (37 mi) north of Akjoujt.src
They were surrounded and cornered by Mauritanian troops with Panhard AMLs and then annihilated. Ouali's body was sent to Nouackchott and buried secretly in a military terrain (in 1996, 20 years after his death, the exact place of his rests was revealed), where it still lies. His position as Secretary-General was briefly assumed in an interim capacity by Mahfoud Ali Beiba, who was then replaced by Mohammed Abdelaziz at the Polisario's III General Popular Congress in August 1976.

The List of heads of state and government who died in office shows that to be indeed rather not common in recent times. At least compared to Monarchs killed in action. However, looking at List of assassinated and executed heads of state and government, Gaddafi 2011 would also make the list, albeit perhaps not as a result of direct combat. But then again, tighter definitions woukd be helpful for such a trivia question.

I don't know what was the last previous example.

The ruler of Bornu and other regions, Rabih az-Zubayr, was defeated and killed at the Battle of Kousseri on April 22, 1900.

And he might have been the last head of state and/or head of government to be killed in military action before Idriss Deby.

But on the other hand there have been a lot of unstable governments in the last sixty years involved in civil and foreign conflicts, so perhaps some other heads of state have been killed in battle during that period.

Watch the video: Unbelievable Truth Behind The Death Of Chad President Idriss Deby Leaked (July 2022).


  1. Wotan

    It seems to me that it has already been discussed.

  2. Terell

    Your opinion will be useful

  3. Epopeus

    The casual coincidence is perfect

  4. Daitaxe

    Just Shine

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