Maputo — Terrorist groups have attacked six communities in Quissanga district, in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado, in the space of less than a week, according to a report in Thursday's issue of the independent newssheet "Carta de Mocambique".
On Wednesday afternoon, the insurgents attacked the village of Ntaure, about ten kilometres from the headquarters of the Bilibiza administrative post, and burnt down almost all the houses.
The raiders then moved on to fields belonging to farmers of Ntessa village. In these fields, they kidnapped two women who were working the land. They abandoned the older woman, but forced their younger captive to accompany them as they marched towards Bilibiza town. On this journey, they burnt down huts in the 25th September village.
At about 17.00, the insurgents reached Bilibiza. Local residents, alerted by the attack on Ntaure, had already fled from their homes. One source, cited by the newssheet, said "We've been in the bush since they attacked Ntaure. Almost everybody has left Bilbiza".
Once inside Bilibiza, the terrorists burnt down many houses, looted stalls, and vandalised public buildings, including the Bilibiza Agricultural Institute, the local health centre and the administrative post secretariat.
Local sources told the newssheet that the unit of the defence and security forces stationed at Bilibiza did not respond to the raiders because they were outnumbered.
By Thursday morning, most of the people who had fled into the bush had not yet returned to Bilibiza, and no figures were available on the number of people killed and injured in the raid.
The Bilibiza Agricultural Institute is one of the oldest technical and professional training centres in the country. It has 24 teachers and about 500 students.
Recently the Institute underwent rehabilitation with the support of the Aga Khan Foundation. Classrooms and dormitories were upgraded and expanded, and houses were built for the teaching staff. But in the Wednesday attack, the Institute suffered serious damage, although no figure has yet been put on the losses.
Last Saturday, there were successive attacks on three other Quissanga villages - Nancaramo, Cagembe and Namaluco.