Africa’s longest serving leader -Gabonese President Omar Bongo – has died aged 73.
His death was confirmed by Prime Minister Jean Eyeghe Ndong in a written statement.
There had been conflicting reports earlier on Monday about whether Mr Bongo, who had led Gabon since 1967, had died in a Spanish clinic.
In his statement, Mr Ndong said Mr Bongo had died of a heart attack shortly before 1230 GMT.
He said Gabon would observe 30 days of mourning, and called on the Gabonese people to “stand together in contemplation and dignity”.
The defence ministry said it was closing Gabon’s air, land and sea borders.
The ministry, which is headed by Mr Bongo’s son, Ali-Ben Bongo, also said in a statement on national television that “all components of the defence forces were put in place across the territory”, and that sensitive buildings were being secured.