Maputo — 18 people have died in clashes between terrorist groups and the Mozambican defence and security forces in the northern province of Cabo Delgado over the past five days, according to a report in Thursday's issue of the independent newssheet "Carta de Mocambique".
12 of the dead were insurgents, one was a member of the defence forces and the other five were civilians.
Citing unnamed military sources, "Carta de Mocambique" says that on Saturday insurgents attacked Olumbi village, in Palma district, where they murdered a woman, burnt down two stalls, and vandalised other private property. In some of these properties they destroyed significant quantities of food, including rice and dried fish.
Members of the defence and security forces, with the support of local residents, pursued the raiders, killed four of them and captured another four. It was during this engagement that the member of the defence forces was killed.
Clashes continued in Olumbi on Monday, when a further eight insurgents were shot dead.
Last Friday, terrorists attacked Nacutuco village, in Macomia district, where they killed four civilians and seriously injured a fifth. One of the four civilians was beheaded, one was burnt alive, and the other two were shot at point blank range. All the victims were people who had fled from the village a year ago, but had recently returned in the mistaken belief that it was now safe to do so.
After the November 2018 attack, the defence and security forces set up a position in Nacutuco, but a few months later moved it to the headquarters of the Mucojo administrative post.
When the terrorists attacked Nacutuco on Friday, the nearest unit of the defence forces was eight kilometres away. This allowed the raiders to remain in the village, burning down huts, for about three hours.