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 told Africa24.news.
Two other people were also killed during the attack on the convoy.
The Italian Foreign Ministry confirmed that Ambassador Luca Attanasio and a member of the country’s Carabinieri police were killed during an attack on a UN convoy in the city of Goma in eastern Congo, near the border with Rwanda.
The head of the EU delegation in Congo’s capital Kinshasa was also traveling with the convoy that was part of a UN peacekeeping mission.
Sources confirmed that the ambush on the convoy was carried out as part of a kidnapping attempt.
The UN recently raised alarm over several armed groups operating in Eastern DRC. Killings and kidnappings continue this year in the country’s volatile North Kivu province. More than 2,000 killings of civilians were registered there last year and in the two other eastern provinces, most attributed to armed gangs.