© Reuters. A view exhibits shuttered automotive home windows on the scene the place the Italian ambassador to Democratic Republic of Congo Luca Attanasio was killed in Ruhimba village
By Fiston Mahamba and Hereward Holland
GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) – An armed group in japanese Congo, accused by the federal government of finishing up an ambush on a United Nations convoy during which Italy’s ambassador and two different individuals have been killed, has denied any involvement within the assault.
Congo’s inside ministry on Monday blamed a Hutu militia referred to as the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), which is lively close to the place ambassador Luca Attanasio, 43 and his bodyguard Vittorio Iacovacci, 30, have been shot.
World Meals Programme driver Mustapha Milambo was additionally killed, native officers stated.
The FDLR was based by senior Rwandan officers and militiamen who the United Nations and others have stated helped orchestrate the 1994 genocide in neighbouring Rwanda. It’s one among round 120 armed teams working in japanese Congo.
“The FDLR declare that they’re on no account concerned within the assault,” the insurgent group stated in a press release on Tuesday, condemning what it referred to as a “cowardly assassination”.
The FDLR kidnapped two British vacationers in the identical village in Could 2018 and held them for a number of days earlier than releasing them. The encompassing Virunga Nationwide Park, which lies alongside Congo’s borders with Rwanda and Uganda and is residence to greater than half the world’s mountain gorillas, then closed for 9 months.
Monday’s ambush was carried out by six armed males, who stopped the two-car convoy on the street north from North Kivu’s provincial capital Goma, Congo’s presidency stated.
The attackers lead the seven passengers away from the vehicles after killing one of many drivers.
Military and park rangers tracked the group and a firefight ensued.
“The abductors fired point-blank photographs on the bodyguard who died on the spot and on the ambassador, wounding him within the stomach. The ambassador died of his wounds an hour later on the United Nations peacekeeping hospital in Goma,” the presidency stated, including that it was sending a workforce to research.
Pierre Boisselet from the Kivu Safety Tracker, a analysis initiative that maps unrest within the area, stated the FDLR couldn’t be dominated out.
“(However) we’ve not seen, and the federal government hasn’t proven thus far, proof proving the FDLR’s accountability at this stage,” Boisselet stated.
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