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Italian Ambassador Killed in DRC in Attack on UN Convoy

Italian Ambassador Killed in DRC in Attack on UN Convoy
folder_openAfrica... access_time 2 days ago
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By Staff, Agencies

Italian Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo Luca Attanasio has died in a militant attack on a UN convoy in Goma, a city in the east of the country near the Rwandan border.

The Italian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the diplomat was heading to the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo when their convoy was attacked by militants.

At least two other people were killed – a policeman identified as Vittorio Iacovacci and a driver – and several others were injured in the attack.

President Sergio Mattarella has slammed the "cowardly attack" and offered his condolences, joined by Prime Minister Mario Draghi.

"The Italian Republic is in mourning for these servants of the state who lost their lives", Mattarella said.

The area of the attack – the DRC's border with Rwanda and Uganda – is frequently subject to attacks by various militant groups.

North Kivu, where Goma is situated, is the home province of the Allied Democratic Forces [ADF] group that brings together Takfiri and forces opposed to long-time Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. The ADF has operated in the province since the late 1990s. In 2017, the group swore allegiance to the Wahhabi Daesh [Arabic acronym for “ISIS” / “ISIL”]. The United Nations holds the group responsible for killing hundreds of civilians.