By Stephanie Nebehay and Clair MacDougall GENEVA/MONROVIA (Reuters) - Families hiding infected loved ones and the existence of "shadow zones" where medics cannot go mean the West African Ebola epidemic is even bigger than thought, the World Health Organization said on Friday. Some 1,427 people have died among 2,615 known cases of the deadly virus in West Africa since the outbreak was first identified in March, according to new figures released by the WHO on Friday. Independent experts raised similar concerns a month ago that the contagion could be worse than reported because some residents of affected areas are chasing away health workers and shunning treatment. Despite initial assertions by regional health officials that the virus had been contained in its early stages, Ebola case numbers and deaths have ballooned in recent months as the outbreak has spread from its initial epicentre in Guinea.
By Crispin Dembassa-Kette BANGUI (Reuters) - At least 25 people died when a gold mine collapsed near the Central African Republic town of Bambari, a spokesman for the mainly Muslim Seleka rebels which run the mine said on Friday. The mine at Ndassima is carved deep into a forested hilltop about 60 kilometres (40 miles) north of Seleka's military headquarters in Bambari. The mine collapse is the latest setback for the country, which has been beset by sectarian violence between the Seleka and Christian militia for over a year. Newly installed interim Prime Minister Mahamat Kamoun named a government with five Seleka cabinet members on Friday in a bid to help stabilize the mineral-rich country.