Italian ambassador killed in assault by DR Congo

Luca Attanasio died with an Italian soldier after their car was attacked while they were in a UN convoy in the east of the country.

“It is with deep sadness that the Farnesina confirmed the death of the Italian ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo Luca Attanasio and a soldier of the Carabinieri today in Goma,” said a statement by the ministry.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi issued a statement expressing condolences to the families of the Italian ambassador and soldier named Vittorio Iacovacci.

The World Food Program (WFP) said in a statement that one of its drivers was killed in the attack.

Others in the convoy were also injured, according to the UN agency.

The WFP said a delegation was on a field trip to attend one of their school feeding programs in Rutshuru when they were attacked.

It added that the route was on a road previously classified as safe for travel without a security team.

Rutshuru is just over a two-hour drive from Goma. The way out of the regional capital has been unsafe for years, as various armed groups are active in the region.

There is a strong UN peacekeeping presence in the region and UN convoys need a security clearance to travel outside of Goma.

This is a developing story. More will follow.

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