Luca Attanasio, the Italian ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and two companions were killed in an attack on a United Nations convoy in eastern DRC.
Attanasio, a military policeman, and a driver were attacked at around 10:15 a.m. (0815 GMT) by unidentified assailants who tried to kidnap them near the town of Kanyamahoro.
Virunga rangers tried to rescue Attanasio, but he was already dead when they arrived.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack but many armed groups are known to operate around Virunga.
Luigi Di Maio, Italy’s foreign minister he was devastated by Attanasio’s death.
“The circumstances of this brutal attack are not yet known and no effort will be spared to shed light on what happened,” said Di Maio.
Attanasio had been Italy‘s head of mission in Kinshasa since 2017 and before stepping in as ambassador in 2019.