Italian envoy Luca Attanasio killed during attempted kidnapping in DR Congo

Luca Attanasio, Italy’s envoy to the Democratic Republic of Congo and two other people were killed on Monday (February 22) in a kidnapping attempt in Eastern Congo, Italy’s Foreign Ministry and park authorities said.

The United Nations convoy on a stabilization mission was attacked around 10:15 a.m. (0815 GMT) by assailants near the town of Kanyamahoro, a few kilometres (miles) north of the regional capital Goma, the Virunga National Park told Reuters.

A statement issued by the Italian foreign ministry said that the Italian Italian ambassador, Luca Attanasio, and a military policeman travelling with him were killed. The third person killed was a driver, diplomatic sources said.

“It is with deep sorrow that the Foreign Ministry confirms the death today in Goma of the Italian Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Luca Attanasio, and of a policeman from the Carabinieri,” the foreign ministry statement said.

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

According to the ministry website, Attanasio had been Italy’s head of mission in Kinshasa since 2017 and was made ambassador in 2019, Reuters reported.

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