6 May 2012

Mozambique: Catholic Priest Murdered

Maputo — Unknown assailants on Thursday night attacked a Catholic church parish residence, in the southern Mozambican city of Matola, where they beat to death Valentim Camale, one of the priests living in the house.

The residence belongs to the Santa Teresinha Menino de Jesus parish, in the Matola neighbourhood of Liqueleva.

According to a report in the Maputo daily paper "Noticias", the criminals broke into the house at about 20.00, when Camale was dining with the two other priests with whom he shared the residence.

When he became aware of unusual movements in the yard, Camale left the dining table to see what was going on. When he opened the door, he was attacked. He tried to defend himself, but the robbers hit him repeatedly with blunt instruments.

A security guard responded to Camale's cried for help, but he too was severely beaten, and contracted serious injuries.

While the savage beatings were taking place, other members of the gang immobilised the other two priests, both men of advanced age, and rifled through the rooms, looking for valuables.

The thieves stole an unspecified sum of money, three laptop computers, two cell phones, and several other items of computer equipment, before disappearing into the night.

This is the second attack on a Catholic parish residence in less than a month. In April, four armed men raided the residence of the Santo Antonio de Malhangalene church in Maputo, and made off with money, computers and other property.

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