Italy's ambassador Luca Attanasio killed in Congo attack

05:37 PM | 22 Feb, 2021
Italy's ambassador Luca Attanasio killed in Congo attack

GOMA – Italy's ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo has been killed in an attack, the country’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Monday.

The Italian foreign ministry said Luca Attanasio, a carabinieri police officer who was providing security for him and a third person were killed in Goma.

"It is with deep sadness that the foreign ministry confirms the death, today in Goma, of the Italian ambassador," the ministry's statement said.

They were traveling in a UN convoy in Congo but the ministry provided no other details.

The convoy reportedly belonged to the UN's World Food Programme (WFP).

The Reuters news agency quoting a source from the Virunga National Park said the convoy was attacked during a kidnap attempt near the town of Kanyamahoro at around 10.15 am local time (8.15am GMT).

Italy’s foreign minister Luigi Di Maio expressed his “immense pain” at his death.

“The circumstances of this brutal attack are not yet known and no effort will be spared to shed light on what happened,” he said.

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Armed groups are known to operate in an around the park, which borders both Rwanda and Uganda.