Italian ambassador killed in attack on UN convoy in Congo

(VOVWORLD) - Italy's Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo was killed in an attack in the east of Congo, its foreign ministry said.

Luca Attanasio, 43, died in hospital on Monday after the United Nations convoy he was travelling in came under fire near Goma, a statement said. The convoy reportedly belonged to the UN's World Food Program (WFP). An Italian military police officer travelling with the envoy and a Congolese driver were also killed.

Italian President Sergio Mattarella condemned the attack.

David McLachlan-Karr, the Assistant Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the UN in Congo, said those responsible for the attack must be identified and pursued with the strongest determination.

The UN Joint Human Rights Office said attacks on convoys and humanitarian personnel constitute a war crime punishable by Congolese and international law, adding that access to humanitarian aid is a fundamental right, and humanitarians must have free access to civilian populations.

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