Italian ambassador to DR Congo dies in attack on UN convoy

EYEAFRICA TV: Kinshasa, DRC:- The Italian ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been killed along with two others on Monday in an attack on a United Nations convoy in the east of Congo, the Italian foreign ministry said in a statement.

The convoy was attacked near the town of Kanyamahoro at around 10:15 a.m. local time (0815 GMT) and was part of a kidnap attempt, according to Reuters.

Italian Ambassador Luca Attanasio was evacuated after park rangers intervened, the park said, but later died. An Italian police officer accompanying the ambassador was also killed.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

“It is with deep sorrow that the Foreign Ministry confirms the death today in Goma of the Italian Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Luca Attanasio, and of a policemen from the Carabinieri,” the foreign ministry statement said.

“The ambassador and the soldier were travelling in a car in a convoy of MONUSCO, the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” it said.

According to the ministry website, Attanasio had been Italy’s head of mission in Kinshasa since 2017 and was made ambassador in 2019.

Dozens of armed groups operate in and around Virunga, which lies along Congo’s borders with Rwanda and Uganda.

Park rangers have been repeatedly attacked, including six who were killed in an ambush last month.

Many armed groups operate in and around Virunga, which lies along Congo’s borders with Rwanda and Uganda. Six Virunga rangers were killed in January.

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