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Suspected Killers of Ebola Workers in Guinea Go on Trial

The killings happened when a delegation of health care workers visited Womey last September to raise awareness about how to combat Ebola.

CONAKRY, Guinea — The trial of people accused of killing eight Ebola health workers and journalists opened Monday in a remote region of Guinea.

The trial highlights the challenges health workers faced in this Ebola outbreak that has claimed more than 10,000 lives, mostly in the impoverished West African nations of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Around 78 suspects are being tried in the town of N'Nzerekore, 900 kilometers (560 miles) from the capital of Conakry, Ministry of Justice spokesman Ibrahima Beavogui said. The killings happened when a delegation of health care workers, including top health officials from the nearby town, visited Womey last September to raise awareness about how to combat Ebola. They were attacked by a mob armed with knives and stones.

Defense lawyers maintain their clients are not the real perpetrators of the attack, just ordinary residents picked up in military sweeps. "Soldiers just came to Womey and arrested the innocent while the guilty fled," said defense lawyer Michel Sonomu.

IN-DEPTH

— The Associated Press