Maputo — Armed men attacked a district police command in the northern Mozambican province of Nampula early on Sunday morning, according to a report in Monday's issue of the Maputo daily “Noticias”.
The attack took place in the town of Nametil, capital of Mogovolas district. The district administrator, Ernesto Bombi, told the paper that the raiders killed one policeman and seriously injured a second, who has been transferred to Nampula Central Hospital for treatment.
The group also stole firearms and ammunition from the district command. The administrator was not yet sure how much equipment had been taken.
According to the sources who spoke to “Noticias”, the incident began when two men, wearing what was described as “Arab clothing”, went to the district command before dawn to lodge a complaint against a third person, supposedly for theft.
Once inside the command, they pulled out pistols and opened fire, hitting two police officers, one fatally.
Policemen outside the building heard the shots and ran to the Command, but not in time to prevent the assailants from escaping.
Bombi said the attack took the police by surprise, and it was not clear even how many people were in the raiding party.
The identity of the raiders is unknown. Last year attacks on the police were usually the work of the rebel movement Renamo - but Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama declared a truce in late December, and in May extended it indefinitely. Since December there have been no Renamo ambushes on the roads, and no clashes between Renamo and the defence and security forces.
There seems no reason why Renamo should violate the truce now, particularly in the light of an apparently friendly meeting between Dhlakama and President Filipe Nyusi in the central district of Gorongosa three weeks ago.
“Noticias” says that calm has returned to Nametil, but residents are worried that the police guns that have fallen into the hands of criminals could be used against them.