At least 19 killed in suspected Islamist attack in eastern DR Congo

Since 2017 a global resurgence of measles cases has been affecting all regions of the world

Ebola response workers were killed in attacks carried out by armed groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed on Thursday.

The latest attacks come after days of deadly unrest in the city of Beni, where residents outraged by repeated rebel attacks stormed the local United Nations peacekeeping base, demanding more protection.

He did not say how many people have been killed in the attacks in Biakato Mines and Mangina.

A member of the vaccination team that provides Ebola vaccine for communities was killed, two drivers and a police officer totalled the four that died.

"We are heartbroken that people have died in the line of duty as they worked to save others", said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

On Tuesday, personnel were temporarily relocated from Beni, WHO said in its latest situation report, "though most remain in place to continue responding".

The Ebola response work has been locked out in Beni, dismaying health experts who say each attack undermines crucial efforts to contain the deadly virus.

On his Twitter account, UN Emergency Ebola Response Coordinator David Gressly expressed his sympathy for the families of the victims of the attacks in Biakato and Mangina, "but also to all the families of the recent escalation of violence in the region".

The latest rebel attack outside Beni killed 19 people, the United Kingdom said on Wednesday.

Violence and unrest have severely hampered efforts to contain the second worst Ebola epidemic on record, which has killed 2,199 people since the outbreak was announced in August 2018. "We call on everyone who has a role to play to end this cycle of violence", he said.

"The last strongholds of the virus were in these areas", WHO's Ryan said.

Ebola has infected more than 3,300 and killed almost 2,200 people in Congo's volatile east, according to authorities.

After the loss of 19 people and townhall destruction in the Beni attack, President Felix Tshisekedi called Congolese and U.N forces for joint operations to defend the locals.

"Ebola was retreating. These attacks will give it force again, and more people will die as a outcome", said Dr Tedros.

The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) armed group alone is blamed for the murders of more than 1,500 people in and around Beni in the past four years.

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