The ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo has been killed in Goma, the Italian Foreign Ministry has told CNN.
Luca Attanasio died alongside an Italian soldier after their car was attacked as they traveled in a UN convoy in the eastern part of the country.
“It is with deep sorrow that the Farnesina confirms the death, today in Goma, of the Ambassador of Italy to the Democratic Republic of Congo Luca Attanasio and of a soldier from the Carabinieri,” the ministry said in a statement.
Italy’s Prime Minister, Mario Draghi has put out a statement expressing his condolences to the families of the Italian ambassador and the soldier, named as Vittorio Iacovacci.
The World Food Programme (WFP) said in a statement that one of its drivers was killed in the attack.
Others in the convoy also sustained injuries, according to the UN agency.
The WFP said a delegation was on a field trip to visit one of their school feeding programs in Rutshuru when they came under attack.
It added that the route was on a road previously designated safe for travel without a security team.
Rutshuru is just over two hours’ drive from Goma. The road out of the regional capital has been insecure for years with a variety of armed groups operating in the area.
There is a heavy UN peacekeeping presence in the region, and UN convoys need security clearance to travel outside of Goma.
David McKenzie and Ingrid Formanek reported from Johannesburg, South Africa.