Violence erupted in an Ebola quarantine zone in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital Wednesday as authorities struggled to contain the deadly disease.
Four residents were injured in Monrovia’s West Point slum when soldiers opened fire on crowds and used tear gas as they tried to evacuate a state official and her family from the quarantined quarter.
The crackdown in Liberia comes as authorities around the world are scrambling to stem the worst-ever outbreak of Ebola, which has killed more than 1,200 people across west Africa this year.
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf quarantined West Point and Dolo Town, to the east of the capital, and imposed a night-time curfew as part of new drastic measures to fight the disease.
Residents of West Point, where club-weilding youths stormed an Ebola medical facility on Saturday, reacted with fury to the crackdown, hurling stones and shouting at the security forces.
“It is inhumane,” resident Patrick Wesseh told AFP by telephone.
“They can’t suddenly lock us up without any warning, how are our children going to eat?”
Liberia, with 466 deaths from 834 diagnosed cases, has seen the biggest toll among the four west African countries that have been hit by Ebola.
The death toll from the epidemic that has swept through west Africa since March now stands at 1,229 after a surge of 84 deaths in just three days, according to the World Health Organization.