Dozens of heavily armed Muslim rebels opened fire inside a hospital in a remote corner of Central African Republic, killing at least 16 people including three local health workers employed by Doctors Without Borders, officials said Monday.
The weekend attack was the first time the international aid group has lost staff members in the country since sectarian violence began here in December. Doctors Without Borders, also known as Medecins Sans Frontieres, of MSF, is the only group providing aid in much of the deeply impoverished country and has continuing working in areas where fighting has erupted.
Spokesman Tim Shenk confirmed that three colleagues had been killed in Nanga Boguila, a town located in the northwest near the border with Chad, though had no further details.
A humanitarian official briefed on the attack said the hospital had been surrounded by more than 40 armed rebels on Saturday.
The attack on the Boguila hospital came as staff members from Doctors Without Borders met with several dozen local village chiefs from the area. At least 16 people were killed, the official said on condition of anonymity because the details had yet been made public.