Eight bodies were found in a village latrine in rural Guinea after an attack on a team trying to educate locals of the risks on Ebola, a government spokesperson said on Thursday.
“Three of them had their throats slit,” Damantang Albert Camara told the Reuters news agency.
This latest figure differs from previous reports that the seven bodies of nine missing people had been found.
Speaking on state television late Wednesday, Guinea’s Prime Minister Mohamed Said Fofana said that the authorities had arrested six people following the incident, which took place on Tuesday.
The group, which included local administrators, medical officers, a preacher and three local radio journalists, had reportedly been abducted by residents armed with rocks and knives in the village of Wome in the southeast of the country.
Fofana said that it was regrettable that the incident occurred as the international community was mobilising to help countries struggling to contain the disease.
The news comes as Sierra Leone began a three-day curfew to try to stop the spread of the disease, with people being confined to their homes as health workers isolate new cases.
There is widespread fear, misinformation and stigma mong residents of affected countries, with reports of residents in rural villages reacting in with panic when outsiders have attempted to conduct awareness campaigns. Health clinics have also been attacked, further complicating efforts to contain the epidemic.
The highly contagious disease first emerged in Guinea in March this year.
Since then the virus has killed some 2,600 people and infected at least 5,300 people, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), mostly in Guinea, neighbouring Sierra Leone and Libera. It has also spread to Senegal and Nigeria.
Additional reporting by Reuters and AP