Members of the media report outside Farnesina Palace following the death of the Italian ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo Luca Attanasio, Italian military policeman Vittorio Iacovacci and their Congolese driver, who were killed in an attack on a UN convoy in eastern Congo, in Rome, Italy, February 22, 2021. REUTERS/GUGLIELMO MANGIAPANE
Members of the media report outside Farnesina Palace following the death of the Italian ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo Luca Attanasio, Italian military policeman Vittorio Iacovacci and their Congolese driver, who were killed in an attack on a UN convoy in eastern Congo, in Rome, Italy, February 22, 2021. REUTERS/GUGLIELMO MANGIAPANE

Goma — Italy’s ambassador to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and two other people were killed on Monday in an attack on a UN convoy in eastern Congo, Italy’s foreign ministry and park authorities said.

The convoy was attacked at about 10.15am (8.15am GMT) during an attempted kidnap by assailants near the town of Kanyamahoro, a few kilometres north of the regional capital Goma, the Virunga National Park told Reuters.

The Italian ambassador, Luca Attanasio, and a military officer travelling with him were killed, the Italian foreign ministry said in a statement.

The park had said earlier that two people in the convoy had been killed and the ambassador wounded. The third person killed was a driver, diplomatic sources said.

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 Democratic Republic of Congo, Luca Attanasio, and of a policeman from the Carabinieri,” the foreign ministry statement said.

“The ambassador and the soldier were travelling in a car in a convoy of Monusco, the UN Organisation Stabilisation Mission in DRC,” 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 DRC’s borders with Rwanda and Uganda. Park rangers have been repeatedly attacked, including six who were killed in an ambush in January.

Reuters

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