Ebola workers killed in DR Congo

Smoke from the United Nations compound rises in Beni Democratic Republic of Congo Monday Nov. 25 2019

Smoke from the United Nations compound rises in Beni Democratic Republic of Congo Monday Nov. 25 2019

Four members of staff responding to the Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo have been killed and six injured in a targeted attack on those battling the disease, the World Health Organization has said.

Although case numbers are dropping, the UN's efforts to trace the contacts of those who were infected as well as vaccinate people have slowed due to the violence.

A local militia known as Mai Mai has repeatedly attacked health facilities because they believe Ebola does not exist, and that the response is a plot to eliminate the local population.

An outbreak of the much-feared haemorrhagic virus has killed 2,199 in North and South Kivu and Ituri provinces since August 1, 2018, according to the latest official figures.

Two members of the vaccination team were killed in Mangina while a third Ebola response worker was killed in Biakato Mines Health Area, reported news agency DPA, citing a spokeswoman for the Congolese Health Ministry.

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The attack came just hours after a separate attack by a suspected rebel group killed 19 people in village in east Congo - with anger mounting against the perceived inaction of the army and United Nations peacekeeping troops.

Vast tracts of eastern DRC are in the grip of armed groups, especially a shadowy militia called the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).

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