Three health workers fighting the spread of the Ebola virus in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo have been killed.
They were killed in an attack launched by armed groups in the restive Ituri province. Four others were also critically injured in the attack.
Such attacks have surged in recent months as local militias doubt the seriousness of the virus and how the vaccine is administered.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO), tweeted about the incidents.
We are heartbroken that our worst fears have been realised. Our focus is caring for the wounded and ensuring staff at other locations are safe.”
Attacks by armed groups in Biakato Mines and Mangina in #DRC have resulted in deaths and injuries amongst #Ebola responders. We are heartbroken that our worst fears have been realised. Our focus is caring for the wounded and ensuring staff at other locations are safe.
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) November 28, 2019
Surge in attacks
On Monday protesters in eastern Congo also clashed with security agencies resulting in reported deaths of at least four people.
The WHO then said it was relocating 49 staff after the attacks by locals in Beni where UN forces have been accused of not protecting them from rebel attacks.
Officials in DR Congo say the country’s year-long Ebola outbreak has led to the death of at least 2,000.
According to government data the number of confirmed and probable cases has also hit a milestone of more than 3,000.
The worst epidemic was recorded between 2013-2016 in West Africa. More than 11,300 people died then out of 28,000 who were infected.