Maputo — Terrorist groups, believed to be members of the Islamic fundamentalist organisation known locally as "Al Shabaab", have attacked two more villages in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado, reports Wednesday's issue of the independent newssheet "Mediafax".
On Friday, the raiders murdered six people, five men and one woman, in the village of Lalane in Palma district. No further details of this attack are yet available.
On Monday morning, the village of Goludo, in the Mucojo administrative post, in Macomia district came under attack. There are no reports of any deaths, since the inhabitants of this village have taken to abandoning their homes at night and sleeping in the bush. The attackers burnt down several dozen houses.
The authorities have yet to comment on either of these attacks. Reporters would certainly have brought the matter up at the weekly press briefing given by the General Command of the police every Tuesday - but this Tuesday the briefing was abruptly cancelled, on the grounds that the police national spokesperson, Inacio Dina, was unavailable.
Rather than sending a replacement to speak to the reports, the police simply distributed a written statement of police activities over the previous week. This document did not mention the attacks in Cabo Delgado, but concentrated overwhelmingly on traffic accidents and motoring offences.
The number of deaths since the islamist insurgency began in October is now almost a hundred. Thousands of terrified villagers have fled into the district capitals, and many hundreds of homes are no more than scorched ruins.