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Italian Diplomat a Casualty in DRC Conflict

Italy’s ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Luca Attanasio, was killed on Monday while travelling with a UN convoy in the east of the country, the foreign ministry said. “It is with deep sadness that the Foreign Ministry confirms the death, today in Goma, of the Italian ambassador,” the ministry said, adding that an Italian policeman also died. In a separate statement, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio expressed his “great dismay and immense sorrow” and broke off from a meeting in Brussels with EU counterparts to make an early return to Rome. “The circumstances of this brutal attack are not yet known and no effort will be spared to shed light on what happened,” Di Maio said, paying tribute to the victims as “two servants of the state”. Attanasio was 43 and had been representing Italy in Kinshasa since 2017. He joined the diplomatic service in 2003 and served previously in Switzerland, Morocco and Nigeria. According to the foreign ministry, the ambassador and the policemen were part of a convoy of MONUSCO, the UN peacekeeping mission in Congo.

SOURCE: THE NEW YORK TIMES

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