At least eight members of Guinea’s Ebola awareness team were hacked to death by villagers of Wome in southern Guinea. Among those killed by machetes and rocks include health workers and local journalists.

The bodies of some team members who had their throat slit were found in septic tanks in a village school.

Ebola was first recorded in Wome some nine months ago.

The incident happened when a team of health officials accompanied by journalists Wome visited to educate villagers about how to protect themselves from Ebola. The team was also conducting disinfection in the village.

The team was given warm welcome when it arrived, with traditional chiefs greeting members with 10 kola nuts.

In a statement on Friday, Guinean government said so far six people have been arrested in connection with the attack. Correspondents said many villagers are suspicious of official attempts to combat the deadly Ebola disease which had killed more than 2,600 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Health officials warned that more than 20,000 people could be infected if drastic measures were not put in place.

One journalist who escaped the hacking said while in hiding villagers were looking for them.

A delegation headed by Guinea’s Health Minister could not reach the village as villagers blocked the bridged linking the Womey with the rest of Guinea. The village is reported to be deserted.

Government Spokesman, Albert Damantang Camara, confirmed the killings saying the victims were killed in cold blood.

The attack followed riots in Nzerekore, 50 km from Wome, where rumours started spreading that health officials were contaminating people in a market with Ebola infection.

Ends

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