Maputo — A group of armed robbers on Wednesday morning entered the Recheio supermarket in Pemba, capital of the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado, and took staff members and managers hostage for about half an hour, according to a report on the independent television station, STV.
The thieves entered the supermarket at around 09.00, just after it had opened. The police arrived soon afterwards and surrounded the building. They assured reporters that those responsible were common criminals staging a robbery (and hence the incident was not believed to have any connection with the islamic fundamentalist insurgency affecting parts of the province).
At about 10.00 a group of 20 people, believed to be supermarket workers and managers and some customers, escaped from the building.
According to a supermarket security guard, one of his colleagues was shot by the robbers and taken to hospital.
The police entered the building cautiously, and went through it, room by room. At around midday the search was over - and the police had found no robbers.
The most likely explanation for this is that they had slipped out, posing as Recheio workers. The police, finding the whole sequence of events strange, detained the supermarket managers for interrogation.