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In an attack on Afghan police, Taliban suicide bombers kill 27 and leaves 40 wounded

Three buses were attacked as they approached the Afghan capital from neighboring Wardak province

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Members of Taliban. Image source: www.newsweek.com

Two Taliban suicide bombers killed at least 27 police and wounded around 40 in an attack on Thursday on buses carrying recently graduated cadets on the western outskirts of Kabul.

A police official said that, according to preliminary information, three buses were attacked as they approached the Afghan capital from neighboring Wardak province.

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“Initial information we have is that two suicide bombers were involved and there are many casualties,” he said, declining to be identified by name.

Afghan security forces keep watch at the site of a suicide attack on the western outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan June 30, 2016. Image source: REUTERS/Omar Sobhani
Afghan security forces keep watch at the site of a suicide attack on the western outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan June 30, 2016. Image source: REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

An Interior Ministry official said at least 27 people were killed and 40 wounded.

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The incident comes 10 days after an attack on a bus carrying Nepali security guards working for the Canadian embassy in Kabul that killed 14 people.

In April, at least 64 people were killed by a Taliban attack on a security services facility in Kabul in the deadliest bombing of its kind in Afghanistan since 2011.

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Congo: Volatile Security Situation Stymies Efforts to End Ebola

The World Health Organization says the number of Ebola cases has decreased and stabilized over the past few weeks.

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Congo, Security, Ebola
Patients waiting for prescriptions to be filled by the hospital pharmacy sit underneath a sign warning about the symptoms of Ebola, at Kibogora district hospital, near Lake Kivu and close to the border with Congo, in western Rwanda, Nov. 4, 2019. VOA

The World Health Organization says that dangers posed by armed groups in two eastern Democratic Republic of Congo provinces are impeding progress in the battle to stop the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.  Latest reports put the number of confirmed Ebola cases at 3,287, including 2,193 deaths.

International health workers have achieved a lot since the Ebola epidemic in eastern Congo was declared in August 2018. The World Health Organization says the number of Ebola cases has decreased and stabilized over the past few weeks.

While that is encouraging, WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier says “we are not out of the woods yet.”

“The risk of re-introduction of Ebola into former hotspots remains high and is…contingent on the level of access and security in these communities,” Lindmeier siad. “So, the outbreak has been and is occurring in an extremely complex environment, marked by poor infrastructure, political instability, as you heard, community mistrust of national authorities and outsiders and ongoing conflict involving scores of armed…militia groups.”

Congo, Security, Ebola
International health workers have achieved a lot since the Ebola epidemic in eastern Congo was declared in August 2018. Pixabay

Despite a recent decrease in the number of security incidents, attacks on health care workers and facilities remain unacceptably high.  From January to October, the WHO has documented more than 300 attacks, causing five deaths and 70 injuries of health care workers and patients.

And, last week, a health care worker was killed in his home and his wife critically injured.

The DRC has always been an area of high mobility. The armed conflict in the region has caused hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes.   But people move around for other reasons as well. Lindmeier tells VOA among those on the move are infected people who could spread the virus.

“Because they were moving, we cannot be too optimistic about ending this soon,” Lindmeier siad. “As I said in the beginning, the weekly number of cases have stabilized over the past few weeks, but we are not, definitely not out of the woods yet and should not cry victory…before we are at the end of this.”

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The WHO notes Ebola hotspots have shifted from urban areas to more rural, hard-to-reach communities.  It says that, plus the extremely volatile security situation, creates additional challenges in hunting down the virus. (VOA)