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Ebola treatment center in Congo faces first militia attack

In this image, an armed police officer stands watch in an arched doorway that looks outside.
A police officer stands guard at the Butembo Ebola treatment center following an attack on March 9, 2019. Photo: John Wessels/AFP/Getty Images

Militia members armed with machetes tried to burn down an Ebola treatment center in Katwa overnight, as stated by a Congolese official on Saturday and reported by the Associated Press.

The big picture: This was the first militia attack against the Katwa center, per the AP. Hours earlier, a doctor was killed and 2 hospital workers were injured in an attack on the other primary Ebola treatment center in Butembo. A police officer was killed at the Butembo center during a similar attack in March. These ongoing attacks, part of widespread civil unrest and community resistance to treatment, are occurring in the midst of the second-largest Ebola outbreak on record, with more than 1,000 cases of the hemorrhagic fever so far.

Where it stands: The World Health Organization has faced criticism after it declined last week to declare a "Public Health Emergency of International Concern" (PHEIC), its highest alert level, for the outbreak.

Go deeper: Ebola outbreak passes 900 cases amid urgent new warnings