ITALIAN ENVOY TO CONGO KILLED IN AMBUSH OF UN CONVOY
The Italian ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo was among three people killed when their humanitarian convoy was fired upon while travelling in a volatile part of the country, officials told Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa).
Luca Attanasio died of his injuries after the convoy of the UN's World Food Programme (WFP) was ambushed in Virunga National Park near the eastern city of Goma in North Kivu province, the province’s governor Carly Nzanzu Kasivita told dpa.
Attanasio, 43, was shot in the stomach and later died of his injuries in a UN hospital in Goma, Kasivita said. The ambassador’s bodyguard and a driver were also killed, he added.
The WFP confirmed the deaths of three people, adding that a number of other passengers sustained injuries.
The Italian Foreign Ministry confirmed the death of the ambassador and a security officer. The unidentified attackers were repelled by park rangers patrolling the area, according to the governor.
Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio travelled back to Italy from a meeting in Brussels because of the incident, according to Italian news agency Ansa. Italian President Sergio Mattarella said in a statement he “received with dismay the news of the cowardly attack.”