Italian ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, an Italian carabineri police officer, and their Congolese driver were killed in a shooting on Monday while travelling in the DRC in a UN convoy, the Italian Foreign Ministry said.
Briefing ministry said Luca Attanasio and the officer, named as Vittorio Iacovacci, were killed in Goma.
The ambush occurred as the convoy was travelling from Goma, Congo’s eastern regional capital, to visit a World Food Program (WFP) school project in Rutshuru, the UN agency said.
The WFP said the attack occurred on a road that had been cleared previously for travel without security escorts, and it was seeking more information from local officials on the attack.
The DRC’s interior ministry accused Rwandan Hutu rebel group the FDLR of being behind the attack. In a statement it added that four people had been kidnapped, of whom one had since been found.
It is the same area, known as the “three antennas,” where two Britons were kidnapped by unidentified armed men in 2018, said Mambo Kaway, president of a local civil society group in the Nyrangongo territory.
“There were five people aboard the vehicle, including the Italian ambassador,” Kaway said. “The driver died after being shot with several bullets, and others were wounded,” he said.
“The situation is very tense,” he added.
The wounded were taken to a nearby UN hospital.