Two employees of a Phoenix-based humanitarian organization have been killed while working in Africa.
Food for the Hungry announced that two of its aid workers were killed on November 15 while in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The pair were returning to their work site in Tanganyika province--in the southeast part of the country--by motorcycle when they were confronted by armed individuals and killed, the organization said in a news release.
Food for the Hungry has temporarily suspended all operation in the area and is working with local authorities on the case.
Officials confirmed the victims are Congolese, in line with the organization's focus on hiring local staff. Food for the Hungry's 2017 annual report states that 98% of their aid workers are from the country where they work.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo consistently ranks as one of the most dangerous countries for humanitarian workers. According to the organization Humanitarian Outcomes, which tracks acts of violence against aid workers, there were 38 such incidents between 2013 and 2017, the most recent year for which data is available.
Food for the Hungry has been operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 1995, when it started out helping people affected by the country's civil war and refugees fleeing violence in Rwanda.