Italian ambassador to Congo dies in attack on UN convoy

The Italian ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo was killed on Monday in an attack on a United Nations convoy in the east of the country. 

Italy’s Foreign Affairs Ministry confirmed that a policeman traveling with him was also killed in the attack. 

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

The envoy, Luca Attanasio, “died of his wounds” after gunmen opened fire on the convoy, officials in Congo told reporters. 

“The Congolese Armed Forces are combing to find out who the assailants are,” the Congolese army said, according to AFP. 

The unidentified attackers were attempting to kidnap UN personnel, Italian media reported.

The attack reportedly took place at around 10:15 a.m. local time north of Goma, the capital of North Kivu province, where armed groups have spread violence for decades.

Attanasio had been in post since early 2019. 

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