Church Elder Among 6 Aid Workers Massacred by Islamic Rebels in Central African Republic

A Christian church elder and father of seven is believed to be among the six aid workers massacred during an ambush by armed militants in the Central African Republic.

World Watch Monitor reports that 66-year-old Gabriel Ole, who served as a church elder for a Baptist church in the capital of Bangui, lost his life during the attack that occurred in the northeastern border town of Markounda on Feb. 25.

The other victims killed were also CAR citizens. They included an education consultant for the United Nations Children’s Fund, two officials with the country’s education ministry, and three employees of a local UNICEF partner.

According to local sources who spoke with World Watch Monitor, some of the victims were shot, while militants slit the throats of others. In addition, their car was torched.

“We strongly condemn this senseless act against aid workers who were there to improve the lives of the most vulnerable populations,” a UNICEF statement on the attack states. “We offer our deepest condolences to the families and the colleagues of the victims.”

The victims of the attack were honored on Tuesday when CAR Prime Minister Simplice Matthieu Sarandji visited Markounda.

“School is the key to developing a country,” the prime minister said. “Any attack against teachers is a crime against the education of our children.”

Although UNICEF hasn’t named the culprits of the attack, World Watch Monitor reports that the assailants are believed to be affiliated with the Mouvement National de Libération de Centrafrique, an outfit of the Séléka rebel faction that has troubled the nation since 2013.

Bishop Juan José Aguirre-Muñoz of Bangassou recently described CAR is a “failed state.”

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Source: Christian Post