Italian ambassador’s body flown home from DR Congo

Written By: BBC

The body of the Italian Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo who was killed in a botched kidnapping attempt on Monday, has been flown back to Rome.

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Luca Attanasio died in hospital on Monday after the United Nations convoy he was travelling in came under fire near Goma.

Luca Attanasio, his Italian bodyguard, Vittorio Iacovacci, and a local driver were killed in an ambush on a United Nations food convoy in the east of the country.

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The convoy reportedly belonged to the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP).

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An Italian military plane at Rome’s Ciampino airport carrying the two coffins, draped in the national flag, was met by the Prime Minister Mario Draghi.

The authorities in the DR Congo have blamed a Rwandan rebel group, the FDLR, for the killings.

Militias also clash regularly in the east of the country, where a large UN force is struggling to keep the peace.

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It has denied carrying out the attack.

On Monday, the European Union’s foreign ministers held discussions on the reports on the deaths that resulted from a militant attack on a UN convoy in the DRC.

“We have seen the reports on the attack on the UN convoy, including … reports on the death of the ambassador of Italy. The news is extremely worrying and we are following the situation closely,” Massrali said at a press conference.

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The spokeswoman added that EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell announced the news on the incident at the EU Foreign Affairs Council, held in Brussels, and conveyed his condolences to Italy.

Chief spokesman of the European Commission Eric Mamer noted that the commission would closely follow the information regarding the incident.

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