Ghanaian President John Atta Mills has died unexpectedly. His deputy is to take over as the West African country's leader.
Atta Mills died on Tuesday at age 68. The president's office informed news agencies that the president had suddenly taken ill and passed away a few hours later.
"It is with a heavy heart that we announce the sudden and untimely death of the president of the republic of Ghana," the statement said.
Officials did not give further details about the president's unexpected death. Local media said he had a cardiac arrest.
Atta Mills had been the president of the Ghana since January 2009. He oversaw the beginning of large-scale oil production last year and was expected to run for re-election in December.
Atta Mills had visited the United States in April for what was described as routine medical check-up.
The country's vice president, John Dramani Mahama, is to take over as interim president.
ncy/kms (AFP, Reuters)