MSF convoy attacked in Central African Republic, woman killed

Medical charity says female caretaker killed and three others wounded in an ambush by armed men.

International aid group Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF) has said a woman was killed in an ambush by armed men on its team in the Central African Republic (CAR).

The medical charity’s Western and Central Africa branch said in a statement on Saturday the victim was accompanying a patient being transported by MSF staff near Batangafo, northern CAR, on Thursday.

“Two motorbike riders hired by MSF were caught in an ambush by armed men in the Central African Republic while they were referring patients to the town of Batangafo,” it said on Twitter.

“A female caretaker died due to the impact of bullets on the way to the hospital after the attack.”

MSF said three other people – a motorbike rider and two patients (a woman and her baby) were wounded in the attack and transported to Batangafo hospital, where they were in stable condition.

The aid group said its two motorbike riders had been clearly identified as MSF staff.

“We condemn the continuous incidents affecting the medical mission in CAR & severely impacting the access to healthcare,” MSF added.

“This is the third attack in June affecting MSF and our patients in the area.”

The CAR has seen repeated bouts of violence from armed groups since 2013, including a civil war that ended in 2016, as well as election-related fighting earlier this year.

The years-long violence has killed thousands of people, forcing more than a quarter of the CAR’s nearly five million population from their homes. Of these, 675,000 are refugees in neighbouring countries.

The MSF’s announcement came just a day after it announced that a Spanish aid coordinator and two Ethiopian staff had been “brutallly murdered” in Ethiopia’s war-torn northern Tigray region.

A statement by the group said the three workers were found dead a few metres from their vehicle on Friday, a day after colleagues lost contact with them while they were travelling.

“We condemn this attack on our colleagues in the strongest possible terms and will be relentless in understanding of what happened,“ MSF said.

The United Nations described the attack as “outrageous and saddening” and called for Ethiopia to launch a swift investigation into the killings.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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