International Red Cross Movement "shocked, saddened" by volunteer deaths in CAR

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GENEVA, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement said Wednesday it was "shocked and saddened" by the violent deaths of six Red Cross volunteers earlier this week in the Central Africa Republic (CAR).

The Red Cross said the volunteers were taking part in a crisis meeting at a health facility in Gambo in Mbomou prefecture in the southeast of the Central African Republic on Aug. 3.

The exact circumstances of the deaths are not yet clear. However, reports indicate that civilians and medical staff may also have been killed.

"The Red Cross Movement strongly condemns this incident, the third such attack in CAR to claim the lives of Red Cross personnel since the beginning of the year," the statement said.

Antoine Mbao-Bogo, president of the Central African Red Cross, said, "We are appalled by the news of the death of our fellow volunteers. We call on all parties to take steps to spare the civilian population, and to respect all humanitarian workers."

The Red Cross Movement said it is deeply concerned about the resurgence of violence in the Central African Republic in recent months.

The violence, and the specific targeting of humanitarian workers, is preventing Red Cross volunteers and personnel from assisting communities who have been severely affected by the armed conflict.

"The Red Cross Movement calls on armed actors to respect and protect medical personnel, ambulances and medical facilities. Armed personnel must not enter health facilities, and all groups must facilitate the evacuation of all sick and injured persons to medical facilities for medical care," the statement said

The Red Cross Movement extended its sincerest condolences to the families of those killed in the Aug. 3 attack, and to their colleagues and friends across CAR. Enditem

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