- The ambush occurred as the convoy was traveling from Goma, to visit a World Food Program school project in Rutshuru
- The ambush occurred on a road that had previously been cleared for travel without security escorts
- No group has claimed responsibility for the deadly attack so far
Luca Attanasio, Italian ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was killed in an attack on a convoy. This was reported by the Italian Foreign Ministry.
The ambassador, an Italian policeman, and their Congolese driver were killed in an ambush on a United Nations convoy in eastern DRC today.
The attack took place as the convoy was traveling from Goma, to visit a World Food Program school project in Rutshuru.
“The Foreign Ministry confirms with deep pain the deaths in Goma today of the Italian Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo Luca Attanasio and a soldier of the Carabinieri corps. The ambassador and soldiers of the Carabinieri corps were driving in a convoy of MONUSCO, the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” said the official statement from the Italian Foreign Ministry.
Italy’s Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio expressed his “great dismay and immense sorrow” over the deadly attack and broke off from a meeting in Brussels with EU counterparts to make an early return to Rome.
“The circumstances of this brutal attack are not yet known and no effort will be spared to shed light on what happened,” Di Maio said, paying tribute to the victims.
According to local authorities and WFP officials, the ambush occurred on a road that had previously been cleared for travel without security escorts.
No terror group has claimed responsibility for the deadly ambush as of yet.
Dozens of armed groups operate in and around Virunga, which lies along DR Congo’s borders with Rwanda and Uganda.
Attanasio is the second European ambassador to have been killed while serving in the DRC.