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Angry mob attacks and kills 8 health workers in Ebola-afflicted Guinea

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Eight officials and journalists who went to a remote village in Guinea to dispel rumors about the deadly Ebola outbreak that is terrorizing the region have been killed. According to a government spokesman, the delegation was attacked by an angry mob of rock-hurling locals who claimed that the delegation had come there to spread the illness themselves.

The delegation had left for the village on Tuesday for what was intended to be a community event geared towards raising awareness about the Ebola virus, according to the government spokesman, Albert Camara Damantang. Several officials managed to escape the angry mob and alert their colleagues in Conakry, the capital of Guinea, who then sent out a search party.

“They went on a mission to try to sensitize the local population about Ebola, but unfortunately they were met with hostility by people throwing rocks,” Mr. Damantang said. “It’s very sad and hard to believe but they were killed in cold blood by the villagers.”

The current Ebola outbreak, the largest since the virus was discovered almost 40 years ago, has already claimed the lives at least 2,600 people in the West African nations of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. The governments have been trying desperately to contain the virus, but they face numerous obstacles such as collapsing health systems, inexperience with the disease, and most problematic, distrust among the local population.

Despite the fact that countless health workers in West Africa have already died trying to fight the disease, the local population continues to insist that it’s the government who is spreading the disease. There have been numerous instances of civilians threatening officials and health workers with knives, stones, and machetes.

Read more about the story at The Los Angeles Times.

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