Mozambique’s Ministry of Defence has not yet commented on the attack.
The terrorist organisation Islamic State has claimed, through its propaganda channels, to have executed 11 Christians in Mozambique, in the district of Mocímboa da Praia, Cabo Delgado province.
The terrorist group, which has been operating in Cabo Delgado province for almost six years, also claims to have bombed members of the Mozambican Armed Forces.
Local sources heard today by Lusa say that the attack took place at around 3pm on Friday (2pm Lisbon time) in Naquitenge, a village in the interior of the district of Mocímboa da Praia, but do not confirm the incursion against elements of the Mozambican army.
“When they arrived there, they called a meeting. The people in the village didn’t know they were terrorists and after that they started separating Christians from Muslims on the basis of their names. After that, they opened fire on the Christians,” a source who lost his nephew in the attack told Lusa.
Although Islamic State claims the deaths of 11 people, sources heard by Lusa speak of at least 12 dead at the scene and several wounded.
“They practically ‘shot’ people. Some people were injured and fled into the woods. It’s one of the most vicious attacks we’ve ever heard of,” another source from Mocímboa da Praia, who has a relative who managed to escape from Naquitenge during the attack, told Lusa.
The district of Mocímboa da Praia was where armed groups carried out their first attack in October 2017, and has long been described as the rebels’ “base”.
Mocímboa da Praia is located 70 kilometres south of the construction area of the natural gas exploration project in Afungi, Palma, led by TotalEnergies.
The Mozambican Ministry of Defence has yet to comment on the attack.
This raid comes less than a month after the announcement, on 25 August, by the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Mozambique, Joaquim Rivas Mangrasse, of the elimination of the leader of terrorism in the country, Mozambican Bonomade Machude Omar, along with other members of the terrorist group’s leadership.
Bonomade Machude Omar, considered to be the leader of the radical Islamic State group in Mozambique, was targeted by the second phase of the Mozambican army’s so-called “Golpe Duro II” operation.
The extremist leader was described by several experts as “a symbiosis of brutality and vigilante”, and was on the US list of “global terrorists” and the target of European Union sanctions.