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Italian ambassador killed in DR Congo attack

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Italy’s ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo was killed on Monday when a UN convoy came under attack in the troubled east, DRC sources and the government in Rome said.

Luca Attanasio died of his wounds after a World Food Programme (WFP) convoy came under fire near Goma, a senior diplomatic source said in Kinshasa.

Two other people also died in the attack, Major Guillaume Djike, the army’s spokesman in North Kivu province told AFP. Other sources said the two were the envoy’s driver and bodyguard.

Attanasio’s death was confirmed in Rome by the Italian foreign ministry, which also said an Italian policeman died.

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Attanasio, who had been appointed to the DRC in early 2018, suffered “gunshot wounds to the abdomen” and was taken to a hospital in Goma in critical condition, the diplomat in Kinshasa said.

The DRC’s army said its troops were searching the area for the assailants.

A vast country the size of continental western Europe, the DRC is grappling with numerous conflicts, especially in its remote, mineral-rich east.

Scores of militias roam the four eastern provinces, many of them a legacy of wars in the 1990s that sucked in countries around central-southern Africa and claimed millions of lives.

Monday’s attack occurred north of Goma — a region that includes the UNESCO-listed Virunga National Park, which has also been troubled by violence.

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The UN’s refugee agency, the UNHCR, said last week that more than 2,000 civilians were killed in North and South Kivu and Ituri last year.

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Barka da Sallah to Muslim faithfuls who don’t behave like terrorists — Kanu

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Nnamdi Kanu, rights activist and leader of the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB)

Rights activist, Nnamdi Kanu, has congratulated Muslims as they celebrate Eid al-Fitr – one of the holiest occasions on the Islamic calendar.

Kanu, in a message Thursday, noted that his message and best wishes are directed to “Muslim faithfuls who don’t think and behave like the terrorists” who he said are presiding over the government in Nigeria.

“May the peace & blessings of your God Allah be and abide with you always,” said the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.

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Rocket attacks: Nigerian govt frowns, send message to Israel

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Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari

Nigeria’s federal government has expressed its displeasure with the rocket attacks between Israel and the Palestinian militant group in Gaza, Hamas.

In a statement by Foreign Ministry spokesman, Ferdinand Nwonye, ​​Nigeria’s federal government called on both sides to defuse hostilities.

“The Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to state that the Federal Government of Nigeria is watching with great concern the unfolding developments with Israel and the State of Palestine and urges both parties to see reason and de-escalate the hostilities,” said Nwonye.

“The Federal Government further urges the two parties to remain committed to the two-state solution and, in the meantime, guarantee the rights of all citizens to live in peace and dignity.”

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Gaza rocket attacks: US, Europe suspend flights to and from Israel

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A rocket launched from Gaza is intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome system on May 11. Photo by MOHAMMED ABED/AFP via Getty Images

International air carriers are suspending flights to and from Israel amid ongoing rocket attacks from Gaza capable of reaching the country’s center, where Ben Gurion Airport is located, near to the city of Lod.

British Airways on Thursday became the latest carrier to cancel its Tel Aviv route, saying that “the safety and security of our colleagues and customers is always our top priority, and we continue to monitor the situation closely.”

Earlier on Thursday, Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines announced that they were suspending flights from Frankfurt, Vienna and Munich on Thursday and Friday.

US-based carriers American, Delta and United on Wednesday cancelled all fights to Israel.

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American cancelled its daily flight from New York; United cancelled its flights from Chicago, Newark and San Francisco; and Delta cancelled flights from New York to Tel Aviv.

Ben Gurion Airport rerouted all incoming flights to Ramon International Airport in southern Israel’s Timna Valley – approximately 20 kilometers from Eilat – on Thursday, as terrorists in the Gaza Strip continued launching rockets toward Israeli territory.

Departing flights were still taking off from Ben Gurion.

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