Three doctors have been arrested in the Democratic Republic of Congo over the killing of a World Health Organization (WHO) doctor, a military prosecutor has said.
Cameroonian doctor Richard Mouzoko was shot dead in an attack in April at a hospital in the eastern city of Butembo, an Ebola epicentre. The three will be prosecuted for "terrorism" and "criminal conspiracy", prosecutor Lieutenant-Colonel Jean-Baptiste Kumbu told AFP.
He said militiamen involved in attacking treatment centres, including Butembo hospital, had under interrogation implicated four doctors in planning the raids. The prosecutor said the fourth doctor was still at large. He provided no further details about what their motive might have been.
The WHO said DR Mouzoko had been deployed as part of a medical team to help rein in the Ebola outbreak which started last August in North Kivu. In a letter to the mayor of Butembo, a group representing local doctors said it was "indignant" over the arrests, which it said were crippling vital medical services in the area.
It said the doctors should be released on bail and that medical personnel would launch a strike within 48 hours if they were not. But the military prosecutor dismissed their demands as "out of the question". More than 1,800 people have died from the Ebola virus in the past year.
Attacks on health workers have had a devastating effect, with seven murdered and more than 50 seriously hurt, according to an unofficial tally. Lt-Col Kumbu said a total of 54 people are currently under arrest in connection with attacks on Ebola treatment centres.