The Italian ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the gendarmerie officer accompanying him were killed in the attack on the United Nations convoy in the east of the country, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed.
The UN convoy in which Italy’s ambassador Luca Attanasio was traveling was attacked near the city of Kanyamahoro, a few kilometers from Goma, the capital of the province of North Kivu in the east of the country. Authorities of Virunga National Park where the attack took place say the target was kidnapping.
It is not clear who is behind the attack.
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Initially, the park authorities, cited by the Reuters agency, spoke of two deaths, among which there was no Italian diplomat. The first reports said that he was wounded and evacuated from the scene.
The death of an Italian official was later confirmed by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Along with Attanasio, the gendarme accompanying him also died. The third victim is to be – according to diplomatic sources – the driver. “The ambassador and the soldiers traveled by car in the convoy MONUSCO, the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” explained the Italian Ministry of Diplomacy.
Attanasio has been the head of the Italian diplomatic mission in the DRC capital, Kinshasa since 2017. In 2019, he was officially appointed ambassador to this country.
Main photo source: PAP/EPA/ITALIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY
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