Suspected Islamic Militants Behead Villagers in Mozambique


At least nine villagers were beheaded and property destroyed in attacks carried out in Cabo Delgado Province in northern Mozambique. Reports from Mozambique disclosed that Islamic militants invaded nine villages. The villages belonged to the northern districts of Mocimboa da Prais and Macomia of Cabo Delgado.

Hooded Islamic Militants

A group of men hooded with Islamic handkerchiefs and carrying weapons invaded one village known as Tandacua in Macomia. The attackers arrived at around 6 in the evening (local time), according to residents. One local said the Islamist’s were searching for food when they attacked. Many people ended up fleeing the village and their homes, seeking safety in nearby woods. During the daytime, when the residents returned, they found eight dead people who had their heads cut off.

Meanwhile, in Mocimboa da Praia, the Islamic militant entered the district and beheaded one man at a flour mill. Afterward, they stole food and livestock and left. On the next day, after they had killed the man, they returned to steal more food.

Ahlu Sunna wa Jama

Locals in the northern region know the group responsible for such attacks as the Al-Shabab. The group has been in control of the key northern port of Mocimboa da Praia for a long while. Despite there being more military personnel than the local population in the districts, al-Shabab still attacks and kills residents.

Since 2017 militants have killed more than 1,500 people in Cabo Delgado province. Most of these people killed are civilians or government security forces in northern Mozambique. Additionally, over 210,000 people have ended up displaced in the three-year insurgency so far.

The Al-Shabab group responsible for the attacks, also known as Ahlu Sunna wa Jama, still operates freely. The group is the main militant group in northern Mozambique, considered the Mozambique affiliate of the Islamic State (IS) terror group.

No Short-term Solution

Residents of Cabo Delgado expect that the group will continue to cause havoc and conflict in Mozambique for a long time. In recent months the militant group has stepped up the attack in the northern region significantly. Some of these militants penetrate Cabo Delgado by sea and across the border with Tanzania. Observers have even stated that some militants causing conflict in the north of Mozambique are Tanzanian nationals.

Tanzania borders Cabo Delgado to the north, and attackers enter through the border and burn houses and destroy infrastructure. Some of these foreign fighters enter Mozambique and never leave the country and instead continue to fuel the region’s conflict. Tanzania recently sent troops to the border area to help Mozambique control the unfolding violence in their province.

A solution to the conflict doesn’t seem possible in the near future, but one might be formulated in the medium or long term.

Some have speculated that the conflict in northern Mozambique will persist because it is beyond religion and has some economic aspects to it. The militants look to control the gas-rich Cabo Delgado region and take ownership of oil and gas companies’ investment projects in the area. Mozambique president called on regional governments to help his country drive out Jihadists for good.



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