State funeral held for slain DRC ambassador, Carabiniere

(ANSA) – ROME, FEB 25 – The State funeral for the late
Italian ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Luca
Attanasio, and his Carabiniere police escort Vito Iacovacci, who
were killed in an attack in the African country on Monday, took
place at Rome’s Santa Maria degli Angeli Basilica on Thursday.
    Premier Mario Draghi, Defence Minister Lorenzo Guerini, Foreign
Minister Luigi Di Maio and the Speakers of the Senate and the
Lower House, Maria Elisabetta Casellati and Roberto Fico, were
among the officials in attendance to pay their respects. The coffins of the slain servants of the State were covered by
the Italian flag.
    The relatives of the two men were in the front row.
    These included Attanasio’s widow, who was wearing a black veil
and held her three young daughters in her arms.
    In the funeral homily, Cardinal Angelo De Donatis said Attanasio
and Iacovacci has put themselves at the service of other people “at the cost of losing heir own lives”.
    “There is anguish that too many men are bewitched by money and
plot the death of a brother,” he added.
    “There is anguish because justice is not respected. “Luca Attanasio and Vittorio Iacovacci were torn away from this
world by the claws of ferocious violence, which will only bring
more pain.
    “Evil only brings more evil”.
    Cardinal De Donatis also passed on the condolences of Pope
Francis. Attanasio, Iacovacci and a Congolese driver, Mustapha Milambo,
were killed on Monday while travelling from Goma to Rutshuru in
the east of the African country where they were planning to
visit a UN World Food Programme (WFP) school feeding programme.
    The DRC government has blamed the attack on Rwandan Hutu rebels,
who have said Congo and Rwanda troops are to blame.
    Attanasio and Iacovacci were killed in an attempted kidnapping
that tragically ended in a firefight and were not executed by
their captors, autopsies performed in Rome on Wednesday suggest.
    (ANSA).
   

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