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The death toll from an Ebola outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has risen to more than 200, the health ministry said on Saturday.

The ministry said it had recorded 201 deaths from the virus and that 291 cases have been confirmed since the outbreak began in August.

About half of the cases were in Beni, a city of 800,000 people, in the North Kivu region.

The UN's Department of Peacekeeping on Friday called on armed groups active in the region not to hinder efforts to fight the disease.

Teams responsible for responding to the outbreak "have faced threats, physical assaults, repeated destruction of their equipment and kidnapping," Health Minister Oly Ilunga said on Friday.

The outbreak is the tenth in DR Congo since Ebola was first detected there in 1976.

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