The Italian Foreign Ministry has confirmed the death of its ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Luca Attanasio was travelling with a United Nations convoy near Goma in the east of the country, when the convoy was attacked.
Seriously “shot in the abdomen”, the ambassador was evacuated to a hospital in Goma “in critical condition,” a diplomatic source told AFP. “The Congolese Armed Forces are searching to find out who the attackers are,” the Congolese army said.
The ambassador’s driver and bodyguard were also reportedly killed in the attack.
Italian Foreign Minister, Luigi Di Maio, who was in Brussels today for a meeting with his European counterparts, has announced his early return to Rome.
“It is with great dismay and immense sorrow that I have learnt of the death, today, of our Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo and of a Carabinieri policeman,” Di Mario, said in a statement. “Two servants of the State who have been violently snatched from us in the performance of their duty. The circumstances of this brutal attack are still unclear and no effort will be spared to shed light on what happened. Today, the State mourns the loss of two exemplary sons and stands by their families and their friends and colleagues at the Foreign Ministry and in the Carabinieri Corps.”
The Brussels Times