Mozambique: Cabo Delgado Offensive Continues

Maputo — The Mozambican defence and security forces say that on Wednesday they launched a further operation against groups of insurgents in the northern province of Cabo Delgado.

A press release issued by the Defence Ministry on Thursday announced there had been an artillery attack the previous day "against camps of the insurgents who had taken refuge in the southern part of the Miangalewa administrative post in Mocimboa da Praia district".

The release added that this operation followed the earlier attack by the security forces against the terrorist groups on the night of 7 October, at Mbau, between the Messalo and Muera rivers, also in Mocimboa da Praia.

After this attack, the insurgents, the release claims, fled in various directions. Some have been "neutralised" in Chitolo, in Mocimboa da Praia, and others in the region of Nova Zambezia, in the neighbouring district of Macomia.

The release gives no details of casualties on either side. It claims that the military operations are continuing, and that people who had fled from their villages after terrorist attacks are now returning.

Meanwhile, according to a report in the independent newsheet "Carta de Mocambique" the Cabo Delgado provincial court last Saturday ordered the release of 10 women who were spouses of members of the insurgent group. They had been detained for the past two years, which means they must have been arrested shortly after the first terrorist attacks in Mocimboa da Praia on 5 October 2017.

The women were taken to an old people's home in the provincial capital, Pemba, where they will later be joined by their children, who have been in the care of religious bodies and NGOs. The court offered no explanation for its decision.

Pf/

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