DR Congo: Italians killed by kidnappers say witnesses

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(ANSA) – ROME, MAR 10 – Italy’s late Ambassador to the
Democratic Republic of Congo, Luca Attanasio, and Carabiniere
police officer Vittorio Iacovicci were killed by kidnappers in
the African country on February 22, eye witnesses have told
Italian investigators, sources said Wednesday.
    The eye witnesses, including Rocco Leone, the Deputy Country
Director for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in
DRC, told the Carabinieri’s ROS unit that they were killed
during an exchange of gunfire between a group of armed people
who wanted to kidnap them and Congolese forest rangers.
    Leone, who survived the attack, said that, when Iacovicci tried
to take Attanasio out of the line of fire, the kidnappers
started to shoot at the Italians, according to the sources. The convey Iacovicci and Attanasio were part of was attacked
while travelling to visit a WFP school-feeding programme.
    The armed gang killed a Congolese driver employed by the WFP
before the exchange of fire in which the Italians were killed.
    The version of events given by the eye witnesses corroborates
that of the DRC government, which said the Italians were killed
by the kidnappers and not by the friend fire of the rangers.


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