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Attackers Kill Four Including a Child in Cabo Delgado Province

Attackers Kill Four Including a Child in Cabo Delgado Province

An unknown armed group killed four people, including a child, on Saturday and Sunday during new attacks in Ancuabe district in northern Mozambique, local sources said.

The district is one of those thought to be safe, in the southern strip of Cabo Delgado province, until the attacks recorded since the beginning of the month, causing a new wave of around 17,000 displaced people and impacting on economic activity in the region.

The attackers are suspected to be part of the same rebel groups that have been terrorising Cabo Delgado since 2017, but until now were closer to the border with Tanzania and around the gas project sites – an area that has since been the target of a military offensive that has caused some to flee through the bush.

“They came in around 21:00 [20:00 in Lisbon] and started shooting. They killed two people, one of them a child,” said a resident of Nikwita village who has since fled to Chiúre district headquarters.

Another local source said that after the raid in Nikwita, the insurgents entered the community of Nanoa, a few kilometres from Ancuabe district headquarters. 

“They arrived quietly in Nanoa and then started firing. They killed two people,” he said, while seeking shelter in Ancuabe district headquarters.

A third source added that on Sunday night, the same group burned down homes in the village of Macaia, near Mbonge, also a few kilometres from Ancuabe district headquarters.

Mozambican president Filipe Nyusi visited military positions in Ancuabe on Thursday and said the rebel groups are weakened and stampeding, carrying out attacks as they flee in search of supplies.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Mozambique conceded on Friday that insecurity is hampering humanitarian assistance to those displaced by recent attacks.

Cabo Delgado province is rich in natural gas but has been terrorised since 2017 by armed rebels, with some attacks claimed by the extremist group Islamic State.

There are 784,000 internally displaced people due to the conflict, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and around 4,000 deaths, according to the ACLED conflict registration project.

Since July 2021, an offensive by government troops with Rwandan support later joined by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has allowed areas where there was a rebel presence to recover, but their flight has provoked new attacks in other districts used as passage or temporary refuge.

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