By MORGAN WINSOR, PHOEBE NATANSON and CLARK BENSON, ABC News
(ROME) — Italy’s ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Luca Attanasio, was killed Monday in an attack on a peacekeeping convoy during his visit to the Central African nation, officials said.
A member of the Carabinieri, the national gendarmerie of Italy, was also killed. The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation confirmed their deaths to ABC News in a statement, expressing “deep sorrow.”
The ministry said the pair were traveling in a vehicle that was part of a convoy of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, known by its French acronym MONUSCO. The deadly attack occurred in Goma, the capital of North Kivu province, which is located in the eastern part of the country near the border with Rwanda.
The eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo is home to numerous rebel groups vying for control over the mineral-rich land.
Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said he learned of their deaths “with great dismay and immense sorrow.”
“Two servants of the State who were violently snatched from us in the performance of their duty,” Maio said in a statement. “The circumstances of this brutal attack are still unclear and no effort will be spared to shed light on what happened.”
ABC News has reached out to Congolese authorities for additional information.
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