In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, armed attackers ambushed a World Food Program convoy. Luca Attanasio was killed in the attack.
The Foreign Ministry in Rome said Luca Attanasio and an Italian military policeman were killed in a raid on a UN convoy in the east of the country on Monday.
The convoy came under fire.
Luca Attanasio died of his serious injuries shortly after the attack, said the governor responsible for the North Kivu region, Carly Nzanzu Kasivita. According to him, rangers who happened to be in the area repelled the attack.
The ambassador was said to have been shot in the stomach. He was therefore taken to a hospital in Goma, where he then died.
The Foreign Ministry in Rome confirmed the death of the ambassador and a security officer. Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio traveled prematurely from a meeting in Brussels to Italy because of the incident, as the news agency Ansa wrote. Di Maio had previously informed his EU colleagues about the death of the ambassador. Attanasio has been ambassador to the Congo since 2018.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo has to contend with numerous conflicts, especially in the east of the huge Central African country. Dozens of militias are fighting each other in North Kivu and other eastern provinces, including control over mineral resources. According to the UN, more than 2,000 civilians were killed in the fighting last year alone.
A new Ebola outbreak in North Kivu is causing additional problems. According to the provincial government on Sunday, four of six infected people have already died of the infectious disease.