DR Congo: Rebels attack Ebola hospital in North Kivu

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DR Congo: Rebels attack Ebola hospital in North Kivu

Deutsche Welle

DR Congo: Rebels attack Ebola hospital in North Kivu
DR Congo: Rebels attack Ebola hospital in North Kivu. picture-alliance/dpa/AP Photo/Medecins Sans Frontieres/J. Wessels
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Rebels in the Democratic Republic of the Congo attacked a hospital on Saturday, in the latest in a series of attacks on Ebola treatment centers and hospitals in the region.

One of the militants was killed and four more arrested after the attack on the Katwa hospital in the city of Butembo in the northern province of North Kivu, said Butembo Mayor Sylvain Kanyamanda.

Butembo city’s deputy mayor, Patrick Kambale Tsiko, told the Associated Press news agency that the attackers were armed with machetes and tried to burn down the center.

Read more: Aid groups struggle to fight Ebola virus in Congo

The attack came one day after a World Health Organization doctor, Richard Valery Mouzoko Kiboung, was shot dead in an assault by armed militiamen on Butembo University Hospital, according to the WHO.

WHO said the epidemiologist had been deployed to help combat Ebola in the region.

Tsiko cited witnesses as saying the Friday attackers wrongly blamed foreigners for bringing the deadly virus to the region.

Attacks hamper medical efforts

The attacks by rebels, as well as community resistance, have further complicated efforts to contain what has become the second-deadliest Ebola virus outbreak in history.

The number of new cases jumps each time treatment and prevention work is disrupted — the disease can spread quickly and can be fatal in up to 90% of cases.

Health workers battle rumors

DRC declared its tenth outbreak of Ebola in August 2018, in northeastern North Kivu province, before the virus spread into the neighbouring Ituri region.

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