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Father, son, from Italy killed in anti-poaching incident in Zimbabwe

14 March 2016, 17:44 News24 Correspondent

Harare - A father and son of Italian origin have been killed while helping in an anti-poaching operation in northern Zimbabwe, press reports from Italy said Monday.

Claudio Chiarelli, 50 and his son Massimiliano, who was in his 20s, were helping rangers in Mana Pools when they were accidentally shot by the rangers, according to Italian daily La Repubblica. The newspaper said in an online update that the deaths had been confirmed by the Italian embassy in Harare.

Details of the tragic incident -- believed to have happened on Sunday evening -- are still unclear. 

The father was originally from the Italian city of Padua but had reportedly been in Africa for decades. 

Il mattino di Padova, Padua's local daily, published a picture of the two in front of a dead lion in what may be confirmation that they were professional hunters, as online reports are suggesting. However La Reppublica said that the pair were professional guides.

Said the paper, which is published in Italian: "[Claudio Chiarelli] together with his son Massimiliano, according to our diplomatic representative in Zimbabwe, were asked by rangers to help in an anti-poaching operation in the Mana Pools reserve, an area where hunting is not allowed."

"The facts [of what happened] still have to be established."

Zimbabwe police are investigating the incident.

- News24

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