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Ebola Aid Team Killed in Attack in Guinea

09-19-2014

A team of eight Ebola educators and journalists, including a local pastor, were killed in southern Guinea after an attack by villagers.

Rev. Moise Mamy was killed in the assault. The Christian and Missionary Alliance reports he was an evangelist, district superintendent of an Alliance church and co-founder of Hope Clinic, a medical and surgical facility initiated by Compassion and Mercy Associates, the relief arm of The Alliance.

The Associated Press reports that the team, accompanied by journalists, was coming to the village of Womey to provide education on how to avoid contracting the Ebola virus.

The attack was initiated by villagers who turned on the group with knives and rocks. 

Jon Erickson, an Alliance international worker and co-founder of Hope Clinic, said that many villages have accepted the education team's teaching but that some villagers had heard a rumor that the bleach the team was distributing to help kill the virus was actually the virus itself. 

The violence underscores the mistrust of authorities and fear surrounding the virus nearly nine months after the first death in Guinea from Ebola.

The disease had never before struck in southern Guinea and its outbreak has brought the belief among villagers that outsiders brought it in.

Several health centers treating Ebola in several countries have already endured attacks but the one in Womey was the first to include fatalities.

The president of Guinea issued a statement on the attacks.

"These crimes are especially regrettable coming at a time when the international community is mobilizing to help the affected countries in their fight against the Ebola virus," he said.

The government said Friday that it has arrested six people in connection with the attack. 

More than 2,600 people have died from Ebola in West Africa, including 500 people in Guinea.

Mamy wrote his testimony story, called It Will Cost Your Life, in a 2008 Alliance Life magazine article. Read his testimony here.

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