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Second Major Attack in Two Days: Insurgents Strike Cajerene, Cabo Delgado, After Macomia on Friday

Second Major Attack in Two Days: Insurgents Strike Cajerene, Cabo Delgado, After Macomia on Friday

People from the community of Missufine, in the village of Cajerene, in the Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado, today reported attacks by insurgent groups since Saturday, with the destruction of houses and shootings.

‘My house was burnt down, as was my neighbour’s. The terrorists came in full force and weren’t even intimidated by the fact that the village is on the busiest stretch of the N1 national road,’ described one source from his hiding place.

According to the population, the attack on the village of Missufine, in the area of Sunate (Silva Macua), in the district of Ancuabe, located almost 70 kilometres from the city of Pemba, began at around 18:00 (17:00 in Lisbon), and lasted almost four hours, when the insurgents began firing indiscriminately while setting fire to people’s homes, most of which were poorly built.

The attack precipitated the flight of the population from the village and surrounding communities, namely Sunate (Silva Macua), the district seat of Ancuabe, Chiúre district and the city of Pemba, the provincial capital.

‘My family is in Silva Macua, I preferred to stay alone to check out the situation,’ said Siaca, 46, from the community of Intutupue, less than 10 kilometres from Missufine village, where the attack took place.

According to local sources, at least three people were injured by stray bullets fired by the insurgents during the raid.

This is the second major attack in two days carried out by insurgent groups operating in Cabo Delgado province, after the village of Macomia on Friday.

Meanwhile, the population of Macomia began returning to their homes on Saturday afternoon, following reports that the group that occupied the town had left, community sources told Lusa earlier.

According to the sources, the insurgents left the town of Macomia, which they had occupied since dawn on Friday, at around 2pm (13:00 in Lisbon) on Saturday, heading towards the administrative post of Mucojo, prompting the residents to return.

On Friday, the Ministry of National Defence confirmed a ‘terrorist attack’ in the early hours of the morning on the village of Macomia, guaranteeing that one of the group’s leaders was wounded by the Mozambique Armed Defence Forces (FADM) and another killed.

‘The attack lasted around 45 minutes and the terrorists were promptly repelled by the coordinated action of our forces, which forced the enemy to retreat, towards the interior of the Mucojo administrative post,’ reads a statement from the Ministry of National Defence.

The statement adds that the attack took place at around 04:45 local time (03:45 in Lisbon) and that, in the ‘confrontation’, the FADM ‘captured a terrorist and wounded one of the leaders, known as “Issa”, who managed to escape, with no deaths or injuries reported by the Armed Forces’.

‘Subsequently, the captured terrorist lost his life as a result of serious injuries,’ the statement added.

Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi had already confirmed the attack on the Macomia district headquarters late on Friday morning, explaining that it took place in an area previously controlled by the military of the southern African countries’ mission, which is gradually withdrawing until July.

‘It’s true that it’s an area occupied by our brothers who support us, who are in retreat. But those on the ground are 100 per cent Mozambicans. Perhaps there could be a reinforcement (…). Since they’re leaving. I hope we can organise ourselves better, because the time of transition allows that,’ he said, praising the ongoing intervention by the Mozambican military.

Cabo Delgado has been facing an armed rebellion since October 2017, with attacks claimed by movements associated with the extremist group Islamic State.

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