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South Sudan: Patients shot dead in hospital beds

By The Associated Press

This article was published February 26, 2014 at 6:51 a.m.

JUBA, South Sudan — Sick patients in South Sudan have been shot to death in their beds and medical facilities have been looted and burned to the ground, developments that are forcing the aid group Doctors Without Borders to examine its operations in the country.

Doctors Without Border said Wednesday that the extreme violence and lack of respect for health-care workers shown by warring sides has made the group's work almost impossible.

Members of the aid group, which is known by its French initials MSF, discovered at least 14 dead bodies in a hospital in the contested city of Malakal over the weekend. Several of the dead had been shot while lying in their beds, the group said. Rebels have been fighting government forces for control of the city, the capital of an oil-producing state.

Group leader Raphael Gorgeu said Doctors Without Borders' facilities in the towns of Leer and Bentiu have been looted and completely destroyed. He said Doctors Without Borders does not want to leave South Sudan but must look at the safety situation of its workers.

The men carrying out the fighting have shown "absolutely no respect for health care workers," he said.

Goregeu said the organization was not planning on pulling out of South Sudan, where 800,000 people are displaced and 3.2 million in immediate need of food due to fighting that broke out in mid-December. Thousands have died in the violence.

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