Ebola fears nix Sierra Leone troop trip to Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — A military spokesman for the African Union mission in Somalia says the AU has canceled a planned troop rotation by Sierra Leonean forces because of the Ebola outbreak.

Col. Ali Aden Houmed told The Associated Press late Thursday that the Union decided to halt the deployment of a new battalion in an effort to prevent the disease from crossing into Somalia.

The West African nation is currently facing the worst recorded Ebola outbreak in history. More than 700 people have died. Sierra Leone is one of five nations that sends large numbers of troops to Somalia to protect the government and fight al-Shabab militants.

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