Italy’s ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo has been killed in an attack on a UN convoy.
The country’s foreign ministry said the ambassador was travelling in the United Nations convoy when it came under fire near Goma, in the east of the DR Congo.
43-year-old Luca Attanasio died in hospital on Monday, according to officials.
The foreign ministry’s statement said “It is with deep sadness that the foreign ministry confirms the death, today in Goma, of the Italian ambassador.”
Italy’s Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio expressed his “great dismay and immense sorrow” at the killings.
“No effort will be spared to shed light on what happened,” he said.
An Italian military police officer and a third person were also killed in the attack on the convoy which belonged to the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP).
According to local news reporting the attack may have been an attempted kidnapping that went wrong.
Officials at the nearby Virunga National Park said the incident happened at around 10:15 local time (08:15 GMT) just north of Goma.
Reuters news agency reported that officials still are not sure who was behind the attack.
Militias though often clash in the east of the country, where a large UN force is struggling to keep the peace.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is still a volatile country amid the activities of armed militias.
Some five million lives were lost between and 1994 and 2003 during a conflict.
Although the conflict has ended violence is still taking place carried out by armed groups especially in the eastern part of the country.
The UN’s peacekeeping mission is till operating in the DR Congo since 1999 and remains one of the biggest peacekeeping operations in the world.