13 civilians killed in Ebola zone after rebel attack in Congo

The undated photo shows Congo rebels in the city of Goma. (Photo by Reuters)
Soldiers from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) look at the distant hills near the town of Kibumba at its border with Rwanda after fighting broke out.

Authorities in eastern Congo say at least 13 civilians are dead after rebels attacked a town affected by the Ebola virus outbreak.

Residents on Tuesday blamed the overnight violence near Beni on rebels from the Allied Democratic Forces group.

Beni’s interim Mayor Modeste Bakwanamaha said two Congolese soldiers also were killed. Spokesman Zachee Mathima said one attacker was killed and a teenage girl was taken away as hostage.

Calm returned by Tuesday morning.

Attacks by various rebel groups have complicated health workers’ efforts to contain Ebola in places like Beni, where nearly 200 people have died from the virus since the outbreak was declared in August.

The violence by ADF rebels and Mai Mai militias has hindered efforts to reach some Ebola-affected areas and vaccinate those most at risk.