Maputo — Residents of Nangade district, in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado, have captured a 30 year old man, named Mustafa Suale Machinga, whom they claim led the group responsible for the most recent terrorist attacks against Nangade villages, reports Monday's issue of the independent newssheet "Carta de Mocambique".
Suale was wounded in a clash with Mozambican troops last Wednesday. Local people then seized him two days later in his home locality of Litingina. He was found in a hiding place that had been abandoned by other insurgents. It is believed that he was waiting for his younger brother who would have smuggled him across the border into Tanzania for medical care.
This brother had visited the hideout three times, but his movements aroused suspicion. He was seized by local people who have been hunting down insurgents. They threatened to lynch him, and he then revealed his brother's hiding place. Suale was captured and handed over to the authorities.
Suale was once a member of the armed forces, and attended a basic military training course, where he learnt how to handle firearms. He returned to Nangade more than a year ago on leave. He was supposedly enticed by some friends to attend a local Koranic school.
When his holidays were over, he told his mother that he was returning to Maputo - but in reality he joined the islamist insurgents.
Suale is well educated, studying up to 12th grade, which is pre-university level, in secondary schools first in Nangade, and later in Mocimboa da Praia district.
Litingina is said to be the home village of a good number of the insurgents operating in Nangade. About 50 youths are believed to have joined the group in this region. Three months ago, a Litingina community leader suggested that the government should offer an amnesty to these insurgents precisely because they are "local boys".
In a clash last Friday, insurgents killed four people, but they also suffered losses when they fell into an ambush. Three of the insurgents were captured and four were killed.