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Marines join Ebola fight as leaders plead for world's help

MONROVIA, Liberia — Six U.S. military planes arrived in the Ebola hot zone Thursday with more Marines, as West Africa's leaders pleaded for the world's help in dealing with "a tragedy unforeseen in modern times."

"Our people are dying," Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma lamented by video conference at a World Bank meeting in Washington.

He said other countries are not responding fast enough while children are orphaned and infected doctors and nurses are lost to the disease.

Alpha Conde of Guinea said the region's countries are in "a very fragile situation."

Ebola is "an international threat and deserves an international response," he said, speaking through a translator as he sought money, medicine, equipment and training for health care workers.

Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said he was reminded of the start of the AIDS epidemic. "We have to work now so this is not the next AIDS," Frieden said.

The fleet of planes that landed outside the Liberian capital of Monrovia consisted of four MV-22 Ospreys and two KC-130s. The 100 additional Marines bring to just over 300 the total number of American troops in the country, said Maj. Gen. Darryl A. Williams, the commander leading the U.S. response.

As vehicles unloaded boxes of equipment wrapped in green and black cloth, the Marines formed a line on the tarmac and had their temperatures checked by Liberian health workers.

The outbreak has killed more than 3,800 people, according to the latest World Health Organization figures. The vast majority of deaths have been in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

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