Maputo — Unidentified armed men on Monday night attacked a health centre in the village of Macorococho, in Nhamatanda district, in the central province of Sofala, killing four people, according to a report in Wednesday's issue of the independent newssheet "Carta de Mocambique".
A worker for an NGO operating in the area told the newssheet "they shot everywhere and looted various types of medicines. Then they set the health centre on fire and left".
Another eye-witness said that, after they had torched the health centre, the raiders also burnt down the official residence of the head of the administrative post. It was then that they opened fire on civilians, killing three men and a woman.
Although no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, it is almost certainly the work of the "Renamo Military Junta", a breakaway from the main opposition party, Renamo, which has carried out a series of ambushes against vehicle on the main roads of Sofala and the neighbouring province of Manica.
Macorococho is the area which Military Junta supporters arrested earlier this month said was their destination. These six men, presented publicly by the police on 8 January, were picked up at Dondo railway station. One of them, Antonio Mbawazi, said he had been in contact with Junta leader Mariano Nhongo, and had recruited the others in the district of Marromeu, on the south bank of the Zambezi.
The Monday night raid follows threats by Nhongo to spread his war, boasting "now I am not going to spare anyone".
The attackers threatened to return to Macorococho, and so local residents have abandoned their homes, and sought refuge in nearby villages.
The police have not yet commented on the attack.