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50,000 people sealed off in Liberian slum to contain Ebola spread, riot breaks

Published:Wednesday | August 20, 2014 | 3:03 PM
Liberia security forces blockade an area around the West Point Ebola center as the government clamps down on the movement of people to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus in the city of Monrovia, Liberia today. - AP

MONROVIA, Liberia (AP):

Riot police and soldiers acting on their president's orders used scrap wood and barbed wire to seal off 50,000 people inside their Liberian slum today, trying to contain the Ebola outbreak that has killed 1,350 people and counting across West Africa.



Hundreds of the slum's residents clashed with the gunmen, furious at being blamed and isolated by a government that has failed to quickly collect dead bodies from the streets of Liberia's capital.



One 15-year-old boy was injured trying to cross the barbed wire as security forces fired into the air to disperse the crowd.



The World Health Organization said the death toll is rising most quickly in Liberia, which now accounts for at least 576 of the fatalities.



At least 2,473 people have been sickened across West Africa, which is now more than in all the previous two-dozen Ebola outbreaks combined.



The U.N. health agency also warned of shortages of food, water and other essential supplies in West Africa's population centers.



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