Ebola WHO staff have been evacuated amid Democratic Republic of Congo clashes. Since August 1, the virus outbreak in Beni city, which is home to up to 300,000 people, has killed over 200 people.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Saturday that 16 staff members were temporarily evacuated from the Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC) restive eastern city of Beni after a shell hit the building they were staying in.
Efforts to fight an Ebola outbreak in Beni region were suspended after clashes just a "few metres" from a local emergency centre and hotels of several response teams, the health ministry said.
"It was in exchanges of fire that the house was hit by a shell [on Friday night]," Michel Yao, WHO's coordinator for Ebola response operations in Beni, said. No one was injured, he added.
Late Friday, UN peacekeepers from the MONUSCO peacekeeping force repelled an offensive by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) militia in Beni city's northern Boikene neighbourhood, a ministry statement said.
The ADF, a shadowy armed group that has killed hundreds of people since 2014 and at least seven peacekeepers in clashes just this week, wanted to "attack one of MONUSCO's bases", the statement said.
"We escaped death thanks to MONUSCO, which is very close to us in Boikene," a resident told the UN's Okapi radio.
"They repelled the attackers with the FARDC," the Congolese army, the resident said.
The health ministry said Saturday that "all field activities were suspended and the emergency operations centre remains closed."
Since August 1, the Ebola outbreak in Beni, home to up to 300,000 people, has killed 213 people.
The UN has said the unrest is hampering efforts to contain the disease in a region that has been troubled for decades by inter-ethnic bloodshed and militia violence.
The ADF rose in western Uganda in 1995, led by Jamil Mukulu, a converted Muslim. Forced out of Uganda, it operates in the border area in the DRC's North Kivu province.
A ceremony was held Saturday in Beni for six peacekeepers from Malawi and one from Tanzania who were killed in the operation against the ADF in Boikene this week.