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Italian ambassador killed in DR Congo attack

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The Italian ambassador to Kinshasa was shot dead on Monday in an attack that targeted a convoy of the World Food Program (WFP) during a visit near Goma in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Ambassador Luca Attanasio “died immediately of his wounds,” a senior diplomatic source in Kinshasa reported.

Italy’s foreign ministry confirmed the news.

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 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.

Attanasio died in the Monusco hospital in Goma.

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.

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