The Italian ambassador to Kinshasa was killed in an armed attack on Monday February 22 in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Luca Attanasio was in a World Food Program convoy when the vehicle was targeted.
Seriously “Gunshot wound in the abdomen”, the diplomat was evacuated to a hospital in Goma “In critical condition”, according to a diplomatic source quoted by Agence France-Presse. Aged 43, he had been ambassador to the DRC since October 2019, after arriving in the country two years earlier as head of mission.
Violence by armed groups
Two other people were also killed during the attack, said Major Guillaume Djike, spokesman for the army in the North Kivu region, without specifying the identity of the victims. It would be the driver and the bodyguard of the ambassador, according to several sources, according to the correspondent of the France 24 news channel.
“The Congolese armed forces are combing to find out who the attackers are”, assured, for its part, the Congolese army. The clash took place in the Virunga National Park, about twenty kilometers north of Goma, the capital of North Kivu province, which has been plagued by violence from armed groups for more than twenty-five years.
Created in 1925, this natural gem is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This reserve extends over 7,769 km2, from Goma to the territory of Béni, between mountains and forests. The park is guarded by 689 armed rangers, at least 200 of whom have been killed in the line of duty, according to its officials.
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