The Democratic Republic of the Congo accused the infamous Rwandan Hutu rebel group of ambushing the UN convoy, killing the Italian ambassador and two others.
“A convoy of the World Food Program (WFP) was the victim of an armed attack by members of the Rwanda Liberation Forces (FDLR)” – AFP quoted a statement from the Congolese Interior Ministry.
The Ministry of the Interior also said four people were kidnapped in the attack. One person was later found.
The Italian ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo was killed in the attack in the eastern part of the country on February 22, the Italian Foreign Ministry confirmed.
Italian Ambassador to Congo Luca Attanasio, 43, died in hospital after a UN convoy was attacked near Goma. An Italian military police accompanying the Ambassador and a Congolese driver was also killed.
According to officials at the nearby Virunga National Park, the attack in North Kivu province was believed to have been an intentional kidnapping.
At the time of the attack, according to the BBC, Ambassador Attanasio was in one of two vehicles traveling about 15km north of Goma.
The governor of North Kivu province, Carly Nzanzu, told the BBC that the vehicles were ambushed by a group of six attackers. The attackers fired a warning before bringing all the passengers in the convoy into Virunga National Park.
“A ranger team of Virunga National Park intervened and freed 4 people” – he said.
“Unfortunately, before they ran away, the attackers shot his ambassador and bodyguard. They also killed the Congolese driver at the start of the attack” – added the governor.
Under the World Food Program, Ambassador Attanasio was moving from Goma to the village of Rutshuru in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo to visit the school.
The Hutu rebel group known as the Rwanda Liberation Democratic Forces (FDLR) has been accused by the Congolese Interior Ministry of masterminding the alleged attack in and around Virunga National Park. The militants of this force often cause clashes in the eastern Congo, where a large United Nations force is deploying to preserve peace.
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