The bodies of eight people, including several health workers and three journalists, have been found days after they were attacked while distributing information about Ebola in a Guinean village near the city of Nzerekore, according to Reuters.
"The eight bodies were found in the village latrine," Albert Damantang Camara, a spokesman for Guinea's government, told Reuters on Thursday. "Three of them had their throats slit."
When the delegation arrived on Tuesday to do disinfection work and educate people about preventing Ebola, angry and fearful residents began throwing rocks and beating people in the group with clubs according to the Los Angeles Times, which cited Guinean radio reports. The delegation, which included one local politician, fled into the bush to escape the attackers.
One journalist who managed to escape told reporters that she could hear the people looking for her while she hid, according to the BBC.
On Thursday, the bodies were found in the septic tank of a primary school in the village, according to Camara. They had been "killed in cold blood by the villagers," he added, according to the BBC.
Throughout this epidemic, public health officials have battled widespread fear and even doubts that the virus exists at all. The deadly attack illustrates the danger that health workers face as they try to spread information about the virus in an effort to control the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history.
The attack occurred in an area near where riots broke out last month because people feared that workers disinfecting a market were contaminating people, according to the BBC.
Guinean radio reported that the attack came after the group tried to spray disinfectant to prevent the virus from spreading in public places, the LA Times reported.
Earlier, the governor of Nzerekore told the BBC that he believed the group was being held captive. A government delegation had been sent to the Wome (Wamey) village but was unable to gain access because the main bridge leading to the town was destroyed to prevent authorities from reaching it, the BBC reported.
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa began in a Guinea border town, Guéckédou, which is near where Tuesday's attack occurred. The spread of the virus in the country has not accelerated as quickly as it has in other affected countries, particularly Liberia.
But 33 percent of the cases in Guinea have been reported in the last three weeks, signaling that the outbreak is far from under control. According to the World Health Organization, at least 2,622 people have died and 5,335 have been infected in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal.
[This post has been updated multiple times.]