Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has died, Ethiopian state television said on Tuesday.
Meles had not been seen in several weeks. The government said in July that he was taking a break to recover from an unspecified condition.
State television said Deputy Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn will be acting prime minister.
Rumours that Meles is seriously ill have been rife since the former guerrilla leader, in power since ousting Mengistu Haile Mariam's military junta in 1991, failed to attend an African Union summit in Addis Ababa last month.