Maputo — A group of armed men from Mozambique's main opposition party, Renamo, murdered one man and injured nine other people, four of them seriously, in an attack on a bus on Saturday morning, according to a report on Radio Mozambique.
The attack took place in the central province of Sofala, on the stretch of the main north-south highway between the Save River and the small town of Muxungue, despite a specific pledge by Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama that there would be no further attacks on the road.
Perhaps the bus driver had believed Dhlakama - for the bus took the risk of travelling alone, and not in the convoys escorted by the military along this 100 kilometre stretch of road.
After they had succeeded in stopping the bus, the gunmen looted the passengers' possessions and then set the bus on fire.
One of the passengers told the radio that the armed gang first shot the driver, and then began firing indiscriminately at the passengers.
“We managed to escape from the place”, she said. “We walked for about five kilometers until we found other cars. Then we heard a loud explosion. So we lost our property'.
The nine injured passengers are receiving medical care at the Muxunge health post. Among the seriously injured are two children.
Back in June, the head of the Renamo information department, Jeronimo Malagueta, warned that Renamo would attack the Save-Muxungue word, and within days of his threat ambushes had occurred in which two people were killed.
Military escorts were then organized to ensure that vehicles could travel along the road in safety.
On 17 October, Dhlakama called on President Armando Guebuza to withdraw the escort, on the grounds that he had ordered an end to all attacks and no Renamo unit would disobey him.