Malawi president dies after heart attack

Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika has died following a cardiac arrest.

The 78-year-old was rushed to a Lilongwe hospital on Thursday after collapsing but was dead on arrival, sources said.

Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika has died.

The constitution makes clear that Vice-President Joyce Banda is first in line to take over as head of state in the impoverished southern African nation, although Banda's expulsion from the ruling party in 2010 may complicate the transition.

Police were deployed in force across the capital on Thursday after Mutharika's admission to hospital, while 15 army officers took up position around Banda's residence, witnesses said.